Gerlou Roux threw down the gauntlet with an impressive five-under-par 65 in the first round of the South African Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship in Pietermaritzbug on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old Western Province player made the most of perfect golfing conditions at the magnificent Victory Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal to offset a lone bogey with six birdies for a three stroke lead over Elton James.
The former KZN player, who now plays out of Westlake, also had just one blemish on his card and three gains helped to edge out Hugo Delport from Kempton Park and Killarney’s Ryan Dreyer for second place.
Former champions Greg Sheard and Neil Homann opened with respective rounds of 75 and 76.
Golf is an unpredictable game, but the smart money is certainly on Roux. Having dominated the mid-amateur circuit this season, the country’s top ranked mid-amateur was the undeniable favourite coming into the circuit’s flagship event.
The Bellville golfer enjoyed his first podium finish in the Central Gauteng Mid-Amateur Open in January and followed with victory in the Ekurhuleni Mid-Amateur Open at Germiston Golf Club a month later.
He made his third visit to the winner’s circle in the Southern Cape Mid-Amateur Open at Fancourt in April and just a week later, claimed the Highveld Mid-Amateur Open at Middelburg Country Club.
LEADING ROUND ONE SCORES
66 – Gerlou Roux
69 – Elton James
70 – Hugo Delport, Ryan Dreyer
71 – Sean Quigley, Keith Forde
72 – Pierre Spies
73 – Edrich Coetzer, Shaun Mulligan, Jan Delport
74 – Kalvin Parsons, Jayson O’Reilly, John Richard Kew
75 – Brian Peterson, Gustav Verster, Kevin Sharp, Henk Geldenhuys, Greg Sheard, Cameron Johnston, Brett Langston, Elvin Nel
76 – Neil Homann, Grant Wood, Clive Lazarus, Sean Baker, Mario Olivier
77 – Jauqo Jacobs, Mark Olivier, Sean Coetzee, Craig Collins, Dean Armitage
78 – Norman Phillips, Brad Ross-Jones, Kelso Hannay, Hardus Maritz, Johan du Toit
79 – Deon Joubert, Udesh Pillay, Louis Jonck, Phil van der Westhuizen, Evan Mackenzie, Andrew Haasbroek
80 – Henry Roodt, Barry Crouse, Lyall McNeill, Lawrence Joubert, Craig Bell
81 – Conrad Tychsen, Clifton Stanley, Gary Pettit, Corne Basson, Michael de Jongh, Shane Thompson
Source : South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee