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15th February 2024

Bryce’s broomstick putter cleans up at Dimension Data Pro-Am

GEORGE, Western Cape – Something had to give, and for Bryce Easton it was his putter. After months of playing what he felt was his best golf but not getting the results, Easton switched to a broomstick putter. The result was a 63 to lead Thursday’s first round of the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt.

Playing the Outeniqua course in this Sunshine Tour and European Challenge Tour co-sanctioned tournament, Easton’s round of nine under par earned him a two-stroke lead over Frenchman Benjamin Hebert before the afternoon field struggled through difficult conditions of wind and rain.

“I’ve never gone super low on Outeniqua so that was nice,” said Easton, who will face The Links on Friday as part of the tournament’s rotation between the three Fancourt courses of the Outeniqua, Montagu and Links.

“I’ve found myself in a really strange space where I’ve been knocking on the door and playing good golf and have been close to some of my best ever golf technically, but the results just haven’t been there. My putting cost me a lot of shots on the DP World Tour last season and I lost my card there.

“So I’ve made a switch to the broomstick putter. I’ve been picking the brains of a few golfers on Tour who use it well. I’m just trying to learn how to use it. It’s a totally different method and it’s felt progressively better. But it has taken time. I made the switch knowing that other players who have done so have been really successful with it. Not making putts and shooting level par doesn’t get you anywhere out here, so it’s nice to knock a few putts in and convert the chances I’ve been giving myself.”

Behind him, Hebert certainly looked comfortable with his putting as he started his round with consecutive birdies and then went into Outeniqua’s back nine with two birdies and an eagle in his first three holes on his way to a 65.

“I didn’t expect anything because I never had a practice round on Outeniqua. But I played well and had a great start. It was a perfect day,” he said.

Both Easton and Hebert are cautiously optimistic of their starts in this event, with Friday’s weather expected to test the field again.

“I’ve heard the horror stories about the weather on Friday and I’m playing the Links, which is not ideal. But all I can do is play what’s in front of me,” said Easton.

Hebert has a similar philosophy. “There is a lot of golf to play, with two more different golf courses and the weather looking tough. But we’ll see.”

South Africa’s Luca Filippi, Stefan Wears-Taylor, Jacques Blaauw and Daniel van Tonder as well as Spain’s Victor Pastor will start the second round on six under par, while defending champion Oliver Bekker is four shots off the lead. – Michael Vlismas.