PRETORIA (24 August 2023) – It was the pairing that was never meant to be but which worked out perfectly as Jonathan Broomhead and Gerhard Pepler combined for a one-stroke lead after Thursday’s betterball in the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship at Pretoria Country Club.
Broomhead and Pepler worked to each other’s strengths and came through the first round with an 11-under-par 61, one stroke clear of the team of Wynand Dingle and Heinrich Bruiners, and with the duo of Stefan Wears-Taylor and Trevor Fisher Jnr. on nine under par.
But it was only a few days before this team event that Broomhead and Pepler finally settled on their pairing.
“I was actually supposed to play with someone else and they pulled out at the last minute, and then Gerhard asked me, and with anybody that hits it as long as he does I was more than happy to say yes,” Broomhead said of how their pairing came about.
It certainly worked for them on Thursday as they managed their gameplan superbly.
“I was going off first on most of the tee boxes and just putting us in play and then Gerhard was just going for it. With his length on this golf course you can really take advantage, and I think we did that,” said Broomhead.
And Pepler was more than happy to be left to play his own game.
“Jonathan hits it really straight which allows me to go for everything, which suits my game. I made some good putts, but it’s easy to make putts when you have four people (two pros and two caddies) helping to read the putts.”
Behind them, Dingle and Bruiners were another pairing that came together at the last minute.
Dingle joked that he was turned down by his friends so approached Bruiners. But the reality is that these two have known each other for long enough to understand exactly how well they can play together.
“We’ve known each other for a long time and everything worked out fine. My driver broke during the round so I just tried to play a supporting role. He played really well and if he missed a green I just tried to hit it on and make a par. I was just there in the background and made a few crucial putts to keep the momentum going. I think we’re both quite excited about the next few days. The motto is to stay aggressive. Wynand is in charge here. He told me we’re not here to play it safe. I’m generally a plot my way around the course kind of player. But Wynand said the flag is red this week and we’re just going to go for everything,” said Bruiners.
But Dingle admitted that Friday’s foursomes format will require a different strategy.
“That’s a different gameplan. You need to be a bit more conservative and can’t be as aggressive as we were today. But we’ll still try and keep moving forward.” – Michael Vlismas