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5 Nov 2013
6:58 pm

Three-way tie after round one of Affinity Cup event

On a day when the Lost City Golf Course was far more forgiving than the heat, South Africa's Jacques Blaauw, England's Steve Surry and Botswana's Stuart Smith shared the first round lead of the Nedbank Affinity Cup.

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The trio shot 64s, while Michael Hollick continued an incredible putting streak. The leaders finished the round one stroke clear of Hollick.

Blaauw, twice a winner on the Sunshine Tour this year, said he enjoyed his round, where everything seemed to fall into place. “I had 24 putts which is a first for me in a long time,” Blaauw said after his round.

“I chipped in once and holed a putt from off the green on the ninth hole, and that’s how you shoot a 64.” Blaauw’s round included seven birdies, an eagle and a bogey.

Surry, in his second season on the Sunshine Tour, and Smith, top of the leaderboard for the first time in his career, both set themselves low targets at the start of the round.

“It wasn’t playing too difficult today and you could attack most of the flags. Then I just got the putter going,” said Smith. “I knew the scoring was going to be low so I was more than happy with eight under,” added Surry, who scrambled well early in his round.

Hollick followed on from his second place in last week’s Cape Town Open with a putting display worthy of the lead. “Putting is where it counts. You’ve got to ride that wave of confidence when it comes,” Hollick said.

“I just felt really relaxed out there. When your mind is at ease you definitely putt better because you think about it less. You just pick your spots and try and hit them.

“I’m trying not to over-analyse on my putts,” he said after his round of 65. The fast start to the R700 000-event also included a hole-in-one from Dawie van der Walt.

Sapa