Jean Hugo's 10-under-par 60 was the leading score after round one of the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge. Photo: @Sunshine_Tour on twitter

PORT EDWARD – Jean Hugo raced to a blemish-free 10-under-par 60 opening round of this season’s Wild Coast Sun Challenge and holds a one-stroke lead in Port Edward.

Getting out early in the morning and starting off the 10th tee, the veteran wasted no time in getting to work. He went birdie, par and eagle in his first three holes, and then two holes later made another birdie before making further gains on his eighth hole - the 17th of the golf course - as he turned in 30.

As if that five-under-par nine was not brilliant enough, Hugo then went on a four-birdie run after the turn and again on his 16th hole, another birdie found its way onto his card for a perfect start to this week.

“I had no real expectations to be honest,” said Hugo. “I started well, made a big putt on 10 which probably set the tone. Then I made an eagle on 12; quickly three-under after three and kept things going. I think I missed one green today. It was close to a perfect round; 28 putts, you know, is not something scary like 23 or 24 putts.

“All in all, I think it’s a really good round and tee to green, I was solid.”

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With the possibility of a 59 quite real for Hugo going down the stretch, he had to call on his experience to keep focused.

“My playing partners were saying ‘you’ve got this for 59’,” Hugo reveals, “and you obviously think about it. I had a good putt on the last hole but it just lipped out and didn’t make the turn. It would have been very special, you know, the 59.

Somehow the 60 doesn’t feel that great but it was actually a good score. It could have been better but also, it could have been worse so I’m very satisfied.”

Behind Hugo lurks a resurgent Callum Mowat who also signed for an untainted round, but his was a nine-under 61. Also teeing off the 10th hole, Mowat picked up five birdies on that nine and four more on the homeward stretch.

He credits his opening-round score to a change of clubs and that decision paid dividends.

“I’m very pleased because lately these types of greens have not been kind to me,” said the Modderfontein Golf Club member. “It’s been a struggle but it was nice to come out and play well. I changed my irons recently; went back to my old irons and it just proved that it’s not always a great decision to go on to the new stuff.

“I was hitting a lot of greens and playing to my strengths. So, tomorrow I’m just going to do the same things; take it easy and just play my normal game.”

Sunshine Tour