SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

4th April 2024

Nienaber in four-way tie for Limpopo Championship lead

MOOKGOPHONG, Limpopo – The intense competitiveness of the Sunshine Tour shone through again on Thursday as the first round of the Limpopo Championship ended in a four-way tie for the lead at the Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate.

Wilco Nienaber, Michael Hollick, Deon Germishuys and Ethan Smith all opened with rounds of six-under-par 66 to share the lead in this bushveld retreat.

And just one shot behind them the quality continues with Zander Lombard and multiple Sunshine Tour winner Jean Hugo in a group of players on five under, while Luca Filippi – who finished second here last year – is just two shots off the lead.

There were even two holes-in-one in Thursday’s first round from Erhard Lambrechts on the par-three 17th and Karabo Mokoena on the par-three eighth.

“The quality of golf on the Sunshine Tour is really strong, so my approach in a first round is to just try and not play yourself out of it,” said Nienaber.

The lanky young professional returned from a short break and posted a bogey-free opening round in a tournament where he finished second in 2020.

“Six under is always a nice score on any golf course, and to come back after a break and shoot a bogey-free round is always good,” said Nienaber.

“Today was really good and very solid, and pretty straightforward. The greens were pretty slow so that was tricky, but I managed well. My length off the tee does help here, but not always. There are some holes, like the par-five 18th for instance, where you are restricted on how far you can hit it.

“But I have good memories here. I came here for the first time in 2020 and my dad caddied for me that week. This week I’m really trying to be happy on the golf course and realise that there are things that are going to happen during a round that aren’t within my control. So hopefully it will be more of the same over the next three rounds.”

Alongside him, Hollick is an obvious threat on the title as well. The KwaZulu-Natal professional has been playing impressive golf of late and comes into this tournament having finished second in the Stella Artois Players Championship in late March. – Michael Vlismas.