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2016 Lion of Africa Cape Town Open: Day 1

PALMER GOES WILD AT ROYAL CAPE

Michael Palmer roared into the lead of the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open with a Thursday round of 63 at Royal Cape Golf Club, where he peppered the card with birdies. Source : Compleat Golfer

‘I played really well today and kind of went with the aggressive approach and just hit driver at pretty much every tee box,’ he said. ‘There wasn’t much wind today so I could get away with that kind of attitude and my wedges and putting were really good.’

The Big Easy Tour graduate put his long driving to good use in the mild breeze on Thursday and signed for nine under par, three shots better than defending champion Brandon Stone.

Palmer started on the first and got off the mark with a birdie at the second. He went on a run from the fourth to the seventh, stringing four birdies together to hit five under par for the round.

He got down to business on the stretch with birdies at the 10th and 11th, then added further red numbers at the 13th and 18th to sign for 63, one less than the course record.

Stone matched the four-birdie streak of Palmer on the same holes, but dropped shots at the third and 10th. The SA Open champion added an eagle three at the 11th hole to open his title defence at six under par.

‘I actually haven’t felt like I’ve been playing badly, I just haven’t been playing well – there’s like that margin,,’ said Stone. ‘Today I started hitting some incredible shots. I think I still missed about three or four putts inside 10 feet to shoot six-under, so there’s still some more shots for me to gain out there.’

Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Jacques Kruyswijk and Matthew Carvell were tied for third place on five under par, each carding 67 to start this week’s R1.5-million tournament.

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