Oliver Bekker and Neil Schietekat took a one-shot lead on Day 1 of the South African Open Golf Championship in Sun City. 156 golfers entered the mostly South African dominated field vying for the prize fund of R8 million.
The duo shared 3 bogeys, 13 birdies and 2 eagles between them on the opening day of the final event for the Sunshine Tour this year. Unlike last year’s tournament, this week’s SA Open has been heavily clouded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic forced the Open to be a sole Sunshine Tour event, which not only saw the field but the prize fund significantly affected. There was good golf all round though on the opening day, 36 year old Oliver Bekker setting the early clubhouse lead.
He was later joined by Neil Schietekat at the top of the leader board, who came home strong on the back nine with 5 birdies. Defending champion and 2020 victor Christiaan Bezuidenhout couldn’t buy a putt on the day. He carded a disappointing 3-under and is tied for 11th on the leader board, four shots behind the leaders.