Charamba in touch at Zim Open

HARARE - Tongo Charamba reeled in six birdies to keep within striking distance of pacesetter Le Roux Ferreira in the first round of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open at Royal Harare yesterday.

The Chapman-based golfer posted a five-under-par 67 to finish two shots behind the South African professional golfer, who was in a class of his own.

Ferreira notched six birdies and an eagle to set the target at seven-under-par 65.

His only blemish was a bogey on the 17th hole but that did little to dampen his blazing start that was enough to thrust him ahead of the chasing pack at the close of day one.

The South African duo of Jean Hugo and Jacques Blaauw are in second place, just a shot behind Ferreira and will be fancying their chances taking the lead in the last 54 holes of the tournament.

In turn, the duo is one shot clear of sextet on 67 that includes Charamba, 2010 Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open Champion Jbe’ Kruger, South Africa’s Daniel Greene, Warren Abery, Alan Mitchell and England’s Jack Harrison.

Although quite a number of locals had a miserable opening round, Ignatius Mteketeke and Ryan Cairns are still in the mix, tied on 45 after posting  one-under-par 71.

Brian Gondo and Micky Hough will hope to improve on their one-over-par 72 which finds them tied on position 71.

Zimbabwea professional Sheldon Steyn and local amateur Stuart Krog punched above their weight as both closed round one tied on 55 after signing for even-par 72.

Krog was delighted to have put up a good fight against illustrious opponents and hopes to carry that momentum into the second round of the 72 holes stroke play championship.

“At first I thought the course was going to play a little bit easier because of the rains. I though the rains would soften it up and make the greens a bit slower, but it didn’t do much it kept the greens at full pace.

“So it was pretty hard but I’m happy,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Golf Association highest ranked junior added:

“I’m just going to stay patient. Birdies come if they come, if they don’t they don’t. Not expecting anything just gonna go out and play.

“I will be really satisfied if I make the cut and I go on to win best amateur.”

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