Schi­etekat shoots a fault­less 65

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

NDOLA, Zam­bia: He came third at Ndola Golf Club when the Zam­bia Open was last played there in 2007, and Neil Schi­etekat found the course even more to his lik­ing af­ter his first round eigh­tun­der-par 65.

The 6,474-me­tre par-73 course was thicker and more dif­fi­cult last time, but Schi­etekat and Titch Moore found the win­ter con­di­tions more to their lik­ing as the drier rough gave the ball a chance of get­ting through the grass into a playable po­si­tion.

“I was hit­ting the ball re­ally well, which is im­por­tant here,” said Schi­etekat.

Moore pointed out that it was still im­por­tant to be straight off the tees: “You can’t be skew here,” he said. “You have to be pa­tient, too, with the greens not be­ing as true as the ones we’re used to play­ing on,” he added.

“I was very re­lieved to sink a six-footer for par on the eighth,” agreed Schi­etekat, “be­cause I re­ally wasn’t sure of it and that would have been the only drop of my round had I missed.”

Schi­etekat got to eight-un­der with eight birdies, while Moore made six birdies and an ea­gle three on the 507-me­tre 14th.

“My birdie on nine came with a 40-footer,” said Schi­etekat, “which was quite amaz­ing on th­ese greens – it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to be sure of where it’s go­ing.”

He’s looking for a maiden win on the Sun­shine Tour, hav­ing come close with his share of third at the Nashua Golf Chal­lenge in May.

Moore has been play­ing well on the Sun­shine Tour since March, but has been un­able to add to his seven ca­reer wins: “I re­ally just need to put to­gether three good rounds in a row in­stead of just one or two at a time,” he said.

He and Schi­etekat led by one stroke from Nige­ria’s An­drew Odoh, who was also pleased with his putting in his seven-un­der 66: “The rest of my game was fine, so mak­ing putts was im­por­tant if I was to keep in touch with Neil and Titch,” he said.

Garry Hill and Desvonde Botes each carded 67 for a share of fourth, with Ryan Tip­ping a fur­ther shot back on 68.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Ty­rone Fer­reira was eight shots off the pace with his level-par 73, en­dur­ing an up-and-down round with four birdies and four bo­geys.

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