CAPE TOWN – Jean-Paul Strydom shot a bogey-free 10-under-par 62 opening round of the Cape Town Open to take a one-shot lead at Royal Cape Golf Club on Thursday.

He opened his birdie-laden round with four birdies on the trot, before picking up an important eagle on the fifth hole.

One par later, another birdie found its way onto his card before going out in 28, after the birdie on the ninth.

“I did not think this would happen,” he admitted. “My start was unbelievable. I think I was seven-under through six or something like that, or seven-under through seven.

“I then hit it left on the ninth hole and somehow, I made a birdie to shot eight-under. I stalled a bit the next couple of holes and was a bit nervous.

“Then I had a good finish – birdie, par, birdie and I am 10-under.”

His back nine was just as solid as he didn’t drop a single shit there, and instead, made further gain as he made birdies on 16 and the last.

Hot on his heels was last year’s runner-up Peter Karmis, who also shot a blemish-free nine-under-par 63 in which he made two eagles on the par-five fifth and seventh holes.

Behind him was Kyle McClatchie, who finished three shots off the lead while six other players, who included England’s Richard Bland, Thriston Lawrence, Daniel van Tonder and JC Ritchie among others, shared the fourth spot on six-under.

The defending Rhys Enoch finished shares 10th with 14 other players on five-under. 

Strydom – who is searching for his first Sunshine Tour win – has had his ups and downs since the beginning of the season, but feels that he is slowly coming into a good position as the season draws to an end.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “I had a real struggle in the middle of last year, and I found some form at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and I played nicely last week at the Eye of Africa Championship.

“So, there is just a bit of momentum going on out here.”

Top Scores:

62 - Jean-Paul Strydom

63 - Peter Karmis

65 - Kyle McClatchie

66 - Richard Bland, MJ Viljoen, Daniel van Tonder, Justin Walters, JC Ritchie, Thriston Lawrence

67 - Wynand Dingle, Madalitso Muthiya, Jacques Kruyswijk, Hennie du Plessis, Tyler Hogarty, Damon Stephenson, Matias Calderon, Ruan Conradie, Vaughn Groenewald, Scott Campbell, JJ Senekal, Lyle Rowe, Andrew Curlewis, Rhys Enoch, Daniel Greene

68 - Ross McGowan, Jason Viljoen, Doug McGuigan, Zander Lombard, Heinrich Bruiners, Andrew Odoh, Benjamin Follett-Smith, Michael Hollick, Mitch Waite, Jacques Blaauw, Estiaan Conradie, Michael Palmer

69 - Ockie Strydom, Jaco Prinsloo, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Keith Horne, Stephen Ferreira, Jbe’ Kruger, Christiaan Basson, Harry Ellis, Teboho Sefatsa, Wallie Coetsee, Bennie van der Merwe, Franklin Manchest

70 - Callum Mowat, Duane Keun, Tyrone Ryan, Ruan de Smidt, Neil Schietekat, Jaco Ahlers, Pieter Moolman, Keelan Africa, Ian Ansett, Irvin Mazibuko, Allister de Kock, Philip Geerts, Rhys West, Marthin Scheepers

African News Agency (ANA)