Allard leads at windy Chapman

HARARE - Amateur golfer Jack Allard (pictured) mastered the windy conditions to shoot a four-under 68 to enjoy a two-shot lead after the first round of the Harare Open on Thursday.

While foul weather created havoc for most of the players, Allard kept his cool to be one of the only three starters on the field to finish with figures in the red.

Ben Follet-Smith is Allard’s closest challenger on two-under 70 while Ryan Cairns is in third place on the leaderboard with an opening round 71.

Anywhere Katembenuka will also be looking forward to chasing down Allard in today’s final round as he is on level par 72 after yesterday.

Allard is pretty pleased with the way his short game worked out yesterday despite the conditions out on the course.     

“I played quite well; my putting was a lot better than it has been. Normally, that is the part of my game that does not come through but today, the ball was rolling well,” he said.

“I made a number of putts that I don’t normally make so I think that was the main difference.”

On the windy conditions, the Bulawayo-bred Allard, who is nurturing his game on a scholarship at Barry University in the United States, said: “The front nine; the wind was there at all so it was quite easy and then I went into the back nine and it peaked a bit.

“It was quite a big element and you had to shape the ball and hit it with a bit less spin and it was very challenging. I think I played better on the back nine and I think that’s what separated my round for today from the rest.”

Allard is not giving much away in terms of his game-plan going into today’s final round.

“I haven’t really thought too hard about it (second round). I’m just going to take it easy and not put too much pressure on myself,” he said.

“I’m going to relax for tomorrow and get some good night’s sleep; that’s about it.”

The Harare Open returned on the local golf calendar after a three-year absence with the city council pledging a prize fund of $20 000 for the golfers making the cut.