Besseling makes short work of Leopard Creek

Besseling leads by one shot after opening round of 65

 Wil Besseling  lines up his putt on the 18th hole during round one of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek. Photograph:  Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Wil Besseling lines up his putt on the 18th hole during round one of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

 

Wil Besseling made the ideal start to the new European Tour season with a 65 to claim the lead after the opening day of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

The Dutchman carded an eagle, six birdies and a solitary bogey at Leopard Creek to finish seven under par, a shot ahead of England’s Garrick Porteous, Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal and South Africa’s Keith Horne.

“I played nicely,” said Besseling, who narrowly missed out on a full European Tour card for this season after finishing 18th on the Challenge Tour.

“It’s a great start for the season and a great round. I had it going nicely on the par fives. I was able to get there in two with irons and converted the birdies, and an eagle on 15 really helped.”

Larrazabal, who was one of a handful of players who turned down the option to wear shorts in competition for the first time in the high temperatures at Kruger National Park, had an eagle, five birdies and one bogey in his 66.

“First round of the season I don’t think I’m ready to go with shorts,” the four-time European Tour winner said. “It’s more for pro-ams or practice rounds to chill out with friends, but as a competitive round I didn’t feel like it and it worked.

“We’ve played in a lot worse than this, we played in Singapore and Malaysia. This is hot but it’s not that bad. We’re not going to die.

“As a Spaniard I grew up in the city, so to come to the bush is something special I discovered through the years on tour. I love the nature, I love the wildlife and this is paradise.

“We have one of the best golf courses you can play and Leopard Creek only has one very, very bad thing — it’s too far from Barcelona! I would have a place here if this was five or six hours from home.”

Spain’s Alejandro Canizares is two shots off the lead after a 67, with England’s Jack Singh Brar and the Scottish duo of David Drysdale and Grant Forrest among a seven-strong group on four under par.

Forrest reached seven under after 11 holes but stumbled over the closing stretch and ran up a triple-bogey seven on the eighth, while last year’s runner-up Drysdale had five birdies and one bogey in his 68.

Former US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel carded a two-under-par 70 in his first round since April due to a wrist injury.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.