Thursday, 11 February 2016
Theunis Spangenberg  (Getty Images)
Theunis Spangenberg (Getty Images)

Theunis Spangenberg was not even playing in the Tshwane Open on Tuesday morning, but by Thursday afternoon he had propelled himself into contention.

The South African had to come through qualifying at Woodhill Country Club to make it into the field and he did so in style, posting a six under par 66 to finish in a share of top spot.

He carried that momentum into the tournament 48 hours later, firing an opening 65 to get to five under on a day when the vast bulk of the field were over par.

The 32 year old won the 2011 Africom Zimbabwe Open on The Sunshine Tour but has missed his last 11 cuts on The European Tour, a run of results dating back to the 2013 season, and he was delighted to shoot a low score at Pretoria Country Club.

"I'm extremely happy," he said. "Putting was good, driving was good, the game feels solid at the moment so I'm just trying to keep the bogeys off the card.

I was fairly confident playing in the qualifier because I know my game is solid. But you know the qualifier, with 15 spots, you have to play well - Theunis Spangenberg

"I managed to come through there and I don't think there is extra pressure now when you are in the tournament. You're part of the field."

Jaco Van Zyl was a shot behind Spangenberg after a 66 in his first round since the Joburg Open four weeks ago, and he felt the break helped him to cope with the tough challenge.

"I don't know if it was maybe because I was just lying on the couch the last three weeks that it felt so tough," he said. "Patience played a big role out there today and it's just a lot easier when you've had three weeks off.

"You've got to play for par. There aren't a whole bunch of scoring opportunities.

"I got off to a nice start in the SA Open after a nice break, so we'll try and keep our head above water this time."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
3MICHAEL, AnthonyRSA18-6
T4WALTERS, JustinRSA18-5
T4STERNE, RichardRSA18-5

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