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30th August 2023

Dream Sunshine Tour debut for De Beer in White River

WHITE RIVER (30 August 2023) – Former SA Amateur champion Kyle de Beer is playing in his first Sunshine Tour tournament as a professional this week, but the 25-year-old showed that he is not feeling the pressure as he fired a superb eight-under-par 63 to claim the lead after the first round of the Gary & Vivienne Player Challenge at White River Country Club on Wednesday.

Beginning on the 10th hole, De Beer birdied his first four holes to send out a reverberating warning shot that he has arrived. After his 3-4-2-3 start, De Beer showed that par is also a satisfactory outcome on a course that has plenty of trees, water and elevation changes, going to the turn in 32, before picking up four more birdies on the front nine.

The former GolfRSA star, playing on an invitation, is one stroke ahead of the seasoned trio of Jean Hugo, Keenan Davidse and Hennie Otto.

“It was a dream start making four birdies in a row and then I just played very solid with some really nice par-saves and then I picked off a couple of birdies on the front nine,” De Beer said matter-of-factly after his stunning debut. “But I’m very chuffed and I’m very excited just to be playing, to be honest. To shoot 63 is the cherry on top.”

“My approach play was really good, my irons and wedges were really strong, and I hit a lot of approaches inside 10 feet and a few inside six feet. From that distance you back yourself to make birdies, so that was the part of my game that really shone,” De Beer added.

The Gqeberha resident has had a mediocre time on the Altron Big Easy Tour this year with only one top-20 finish in four events, but a step up in quality brought a dramatic improvement in De Beer’s fortunes on Wednesday.

“I haven’t set the world alight this year so far and I’ve been quite disappointed with my results to be honest. My standard of golf has not been very high, but I’m on the Altron Big Easy Tour to develop as a pro, to learn. I’ve put in a lot of work recently and I felt some good golf was just around the corner.

“But it’s still very much a process of getting my confidence back and trusting myself a bit more on the golf course. I’ve wanted to free myself up a bit more and let my game speak for itself and I’m glad to have done it today.

“I’m very proud with how I’ve played and hopefully I can bring my best again on the next two days. But as everyone in golf knows, it’s a whole another day tomorrow, it will be a different story.

“This course is not the longest, but it is challenging and the par-threes are very strong, not crazy-long but there is a lot of trouble lurking. You have to be very straight off the tee here, if you’re not then you’ll end up behind trees or have some very bad lies,” De Beer said.

Hugo would have fancied himself for an even lower round than his 64, having gathered just a single birdie from the four par-fives, while Davidse had a pair of 32s on each nine. Otto started on the 10th and had a blistering front nine, coming home in five-under.

Hennie O’Kennedy had a top-class round on the go as he reached six-under-par through 11 holes, but he then dropped four shots in his last five holes.