MOOKGOPHONG, Limpopo – Hennie du Plessis has given himself another strong chance at a victory in a Limpopo Championship he seems almost destined to win, having not finished outside the top three in the last three editions.
Du Plessis continued his great form of the past few weeks and opened with a round of seven-under-par 65 at the Koro Creek Bushveld Golf Estate on Thursday to share a one-stroke lead with Germany’s Freddy Schott, England’s Jonathan Thomson, Spain’s Jordi Garcia, Emilio Cuartero Blanco and Ivan Cantero Gutierrez.
The first two rounds of this Sunshine Tour and Challenge Tour co-sanctioned tournament are shared by the Euphoria Golf & Lifestyle Estate and Koro Creek Bushveld Golf Estate courses, with the final two rounds played solely at Euphoria.
Du Plessis showed his comfort at a Koro Creek course he’s played since his junior days, and in a tournament where he finished third in 2019 and 2020 and then lost in a playoff in 2021.
“I’ve had a lot of good finishes in this event so I’m very happy to start well again this year. It was a lot of fun out there. I had some friends and family come and support me. I know both these courses so well and have good memories of both,” said Du Plessis.
His round started with an eagle at the par-five first when he hit a magnificent six iron to within 10 feet and holed the putt, and he never made a single bogey.
“That was a nice eagle to start with and it set the tone for the rest of the day. A bogey-free round is always awesome because it happens so seldom.”
Du Plessis has been in incredible form and has been pushing hard for a victory on the international stage to add to his 2017 Sunshine Tour triumph in the Vodacom Origins of Golf in Sishen.
Last year he finished seventh in the DP World Tour co-sanctioned Joburg Open and third in the South African Open. And he against came close to a maiden DP World Tour victory as he challenged for the MyGolfLife Open at Pecanwood last month before finishing sixth there.
“I’m playing good golf and I’m just going to stick to my process and keep focused on that,” he said.
Fellow South African Heinrich Bruiners also made a good start with his 66 at Koro Creek to place him just one shot behind the leaders and he’ll look forward to the next three rounds on a Euphoria golf course where he won the 2013 Vodacom Origins of Golf. – Michael Vlismas
Photo Credit: Heinrich Helmbold /Sunshine Tour