Three-way tie at Centurion

The speedy Centurion greens separated the leaders from the rest on the first day of the Telkom PGA Pro-Am.

It was the speedy Centurion greens that separated the leaders from the rest as Divan van den Heever added his name to those of early leaders Adilson Da Silva and defending champion Jaco van Zyl atop of the leaderboard on day one of the Telkom PGA Pro-Am.

Van den Heever certainly had the best start to the round, eagling the opening par-five after sinking a par-saving 35 foot putt that clearly boosted his confidence with his flat stick.

He then only needed four more birdies and the balance in pars to finish with six-under par 66 and in the joint lead with morning leaders Da Silva and Van Zyl.

All three players attributed their fine rounds to their putting, especially van den Heever who needed only 24 to complete his round.

“The greens have a nice pace to them, which makes it really easy.” Van der Heever said.

The 28-year old turned professional at 19 after a successful junior career, and has recorded one victory on the tour, that coming at the 2004 Bearingman Highveld Classic.

His best finish to date this season was his fourth place at the Lombard Insurance Classic, where he came from nowhere to lead for some time during the final round, before slipping back over the final couple of holes.

He is confident of doing better this week, however, after finding something special on the greens.

“I changed my putting stance this week and it seems to have worked.”

Da Silva carried his winning form into this week after taking the Zambia Open title. He only needed 27 putts for his round which included seven birdies and a lone bogey.

Darren Fichardt was the next best afternoon finisher, firing a solid five-under par 65 on a course he knows only too well, living, as he does, just a few metres away from the 10th tee.

It has been an interesting start to a tournament as an R&A official has been here at this Sunshine Tour event testing the grooves of the players’ irons and wedges before the new groove laws come into effect in two weeks time at the Vodacom Business Origins of Golf event in Stellenbosch.