Wynand Dingle continued the momentum from his best season ever on the Sunshine Tour when he opened the new campaign with a six-under-par 66 for the lead after the first round of the FBC Zimbabwe Open, the first event of the new season, at Royal Harare Golf Club on Thursday.
Boosted by his breakthrough Sunshine Tour win at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series event at San Lameer last September, Dingle finished 16th in the 2022/23 Luna Order of Merit, a small matter of a 63-place improvement on his previous best season in 2018/19, when he finished 79th.
And back in a country he loves and where he has enjoyed success before, finishing in the top-10 in last year’s Zimbabwe Open, Dingle hit the ground running with a birdie at the par-four first hole. Although a bogey followed on the second, he birdied the fourth and then followed a wild run of three successive birdies from the seventh hole as he reached the back nine on four-under.
The 38-year-old’s back nine was more sedate, with the highlight coming on the 604-yard par-five 16th when his eagle putt disappeared like a shrew into its hole.
Peter Karmis was able to call on his considerable experience and post a five-under 67 to share second place with another seasoned pro in Neil Schietekat and Jacques P. de Villiers and Adam Breen.
“I managed my game well and I was a bit lucky at times, sinking long putts, my short game kept me alive and when I was in the rough I seemed to find gaps between the trees,” Karmis said.
“I’m playing with a lot of control at the moment, hitting the ball where I want to, which leads to a lot of confidence. And the greens are so pure here, it’s crazy how good they are, so you’re always going to make some putts.
“A good dinner and a good night’s sleep will be key to shooting low again tomorrow,” Karmis grinned.
Jovan Rebula was six-under-par through nine holes but then faded on the back nine, finishing with a 68 that left him in sixth place.
ROUND 1 SCORES
66 – Wynand Dingle
67 – Peter Karmis, Neil Schietekat, Jacques P de Villiers, Adam Breen
68 – Jovan Rebula
69 – Conner Mackenzie, Keegan Mclachlan, Ricky Hendler, LB Boshoff
70 – David Wicks, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Davison Elijah, Promise Sombrero, Warwick Purchase, Quintin Wilsnach, Robson Chinhoi, Jacques Blaauw
71 – Jack Hawksby, Aneurin Gounden, Biggie Chibvuri, Jaco Ahlers, Lyle Rowe, Ivan Verster, Stuart Krog, Matthew Spacey, Jonathan Broomhead, Paul Boshoff, Kyle McClatchie, Tonderayi Masunga
72 – Pride Sembo, Ignatius Mketekete, Merrick Bremner, Kieran Vincent, Fredrik From, James Mack, Madalitso Muthiya, Mohammad Rauf Mandhu, Ryan Van Velzen, Matthew Rushton, Rhys West, Shaahid Mahmed, Sentanio Minnie, Mutahi Kibugu, James Kamte, Michael Kok
73 – Albert Venter, Jared Harvey, Martin Rohwer, Tristin Galant, Franklin Manchest, Ruan Korb, Jean Hugo, Estiaan Conradie
74 – Ethan Smith, Travis Ladner, Luke Brown, Yurav Premlall, Sean Bradley, TC Charamba, Keelan Africa, Robin Williams, Gerhard Pepler, Willie Olivier, Jason Roets, Matthew Mortimer, Dayne Moore, Greg Snow, Philip Geerts, MJ Viljoen, David Amm, Doug McGuigan, Stephen Ferreira
75 – Hayden Griffiths, Jake Redman, Drikus Joubert, Jean-Paul Strydom, Luca Filippi, Tafara Mpofu, Neil Bothma, Chris Cannon, Brian Gondo, Victor Kachepatsonga, Mandla Dlamini Jnr, Tyron Davidowitz, Michael Wallace, Christiaan Burke, Ryan Cairns, Dylan Naidoo, Kyle Barker, Stefan Wears-Taylor, Danie Van Niekerk, Heinrich Bruiners, Toto Thimba Jnr, Gerhard Trytsman
76 – Rasheed Mohamed, Marvin Kibirige, Anthony Michael, Martin Vorster, Ryan Tipping, Reinhardt Blaauw, DK Kim, Ethan Kristiansen, Callum Mowat, Mwalikwa Sondashi, Njoroge Kibugu
77 – Braydon Amm, Robson Saurombe, Sean Cronje, Rupert Kaminski, Jacquin Hess, CJ du Plessis, Marcel Steyn Scholtz, Gregory Mckay, Visitor Mapwanya, Nikhil Rama, Alex Haindl, Nyasha Muyambo
78 – Teboho Sefatsa, Paul Adam Chidale, Erhard Lambrechts, Harry Konig, Sydney Joseph Wemba, Tatende Makunde
79 – Dezzie Ngandu, Alphius Kelapile, Ben Firth, Irvin Mazibuko, Celestin Nsanzuwer, Vaughn van Deventer, Regan Steyn, Tanaka Chatora, Crismar Engelbrecht, James Pennington, Peter Banda, Ronald Rugumayo
80 – Francois van Staden, Jules Helary, Mike Saxer, Mathew Bramford, Simon Katembenuka, Herman Loubser, Nicholaus Frade
81 – Luke Trocado, Phillip Tshuma
82 – William Lake, Connor Lashbrook
83 – Tariro November, Raphael Jazi
84 – Pranay Kapur, Terrance Keith, Shingi Shumba, Simon Murungweni
87 – Bradley Kulaisi
88 – Kwame Ligbidi
89 – Panashe Mukumba
Source : Super Sport