KNYSNA, Western Cape – Jared Harvey took advantage of the good fortune that came his way in Thursday’s first round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final and opened with an eight-under-par 64 at the Pezula Championship Course to lead the field.
Harvey capitalised on an early start which saw him avoid the wind for most of his round and then enjoyed a bit more luck with his eagle two on the 17th as he finished the opening day one shot clear of Neil Schietekat, who produced a scintillating back nine of six birdies. Rupert Kaminski and Oliver Bekker are next best on six under par.
Tara Griebenow leads the charge of the Sunshine Ladies Tour professionals with her opening round of four under par. A selection of the Sunshine Ladies Tour golfers are competing alongside the Sunshine Tour professionals for the same amount of prize money for the first time in the history of this series.
Harvey certainly took advantage of his favourable draw and his experience of a Pezula course which he played quite a few times in his days a member of the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation in nearby George.
“I lived in for George for a bit and we played a few amateur tournaments here. So I know the course even though we haven’t been back here for a while with the Tour. My game has also been there or thereabouts and I felt I was just lacking a spark. Today it arrived,” said Harvey.
“It was a little fortunate that I was off very early. For the first eight to 10 holes there was no breeze at all. I thought I could get off to a hot start and use the opportunity. I kind of felt that this was the kind of morning where if you’re on your game you can make birdies and get going.”
If there was a sense that this was his day then it was confirmed with his eagle on the 17th.
“It’s a funny story actually. On the second day of the pro-am, that was the hole we started on with the shotgun start. I’ve got a trusty old two iron that’s like my baby. So yesterday I had a go for the green and the head of the club flew right off and it went into the fynbos in front of me. First hole of the pro-am. I managed to sort the club out and get it repaired. So when we got to 17 this morning I pulled out the same club hoping everything would stay intact, and I was very happy to see I’d hit the green and it was close to the flag.”
Harvey has shown quite an affinity for the Vodacom Origins of Golf series over the years. He won on the series in 2017 and has also had a further three top fives on the series.
“I’ve also just felt the Vodacom Origins series gives you the opportunity to play a run of tournaments in our winter and you can build a bit of momentum. A lot of the locations on the series have also suited my game, with a few of them always played on the coast. I think in general it has treated me well.” – Michael Vlismas