Michael Vlismas
2 minute read
2 Dec 2021
7:28 pm

Bekker and Schietekat share the lead at SA Open

Michael Vlismas

The next three days look set to live up to the history of the prestigious event.

Oliver Bekker plays a shot during the first round of the SA Open. Picture: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

Oliver Bekker and Neil Schietekat took the early lead in the race to claim one of South African golf’s most coveted trophies after they opened with rounds of seven-under-par 65 in the the South African Open Championship at Gary Player Country Club, at Sun City, on Thursday.

Bekker and Schietekat were tied for the lead, one stroke clear of Bryce Easton and Lyle Rowe after the first round.

And with an in-form Heinrich Bruiners and Hennie du Plessis in a group two shots back, multiple winner Justin Harding three strokes off the lead, and defending champion Christiaan Bezuidenhout, PGA Tour campaigner Dylan Frittelli and rookie professional Martin Vorster five shots back, the next three days looked set to live up to the history of the prestigious event.

For now though, both Schietekat and Bekker said they were more than happy with the targets they had set after day one.

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“The weather was a bit on and off with the rain and I didn’t really know what to expect, but luckily it stayed pretty good and I managed to capitalise,” Bekker said.

“I got off to a great start with birdies at the first three holes, and I just played nicely from there. I hit a lot of good iron shots and kept the ball in play.”

Schietekat played in the afternoon and took advantage of magnificent conditions.

Neil Schietekat at the SA Open
Neil Schietekat during the opening round of the SA Open at Sun City. Picture: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

“I was one over early in the round and the scores were pretty good in the morning, so I put a bit of pressure on myself,” Schietekat said.

“I threw in a couple of birdies straight after that bogey. I hit some good shots and the course was nice and soft, so I enjoyed every minute.”