Marvelous Mackie leads SA Stroke Play

Gary Boruchowitz

Victor DubuissonPAARL (5 February 2008) – Rae Mackie took advantage of the benign morning conditions at Pearl Valley Golf Estates and signed for a five under par 67 to lead the first day of the SA Amateur Stroke Play Championship on Tuesday.

The diminutive 22-year-old Limpopo golfer leads by one stroke from French teenager Victor Dubuisson, who posted a four-under-par 68.

“I’ll take this score any day of the week,” Mackie said. “I just went out there, had fun and got the putter going.”

Mackie, who carded nines of 33 and 34, said he had very little expectation coming into the tournament.

“I didn’t expect much this week. I just wanted to have fun and enjoy my golf. I often try too hard and it doesn’t come off for me.”

Despite his fast start to the tournament, Mackie says he still plans to adopt a conservative approach in round two.

“I’m just going to try keep it together and make a lot of pars.”

Dubuisson’s round could have been so much better had he not double bogeyed the 17th hole. “I was joking about the professional golfers at the SAA Open who hit the ball in the water, and then I go and put it in there myself,” the frustrated 17 year old explained.

The Cannes-based player was four-under-par through nine holes, but his five at the par-three 17th saw him finish level on the back nine. “It’s a very tough course and you have to play very good golf to be under par here,” said Dubuisson.

Fancourt’s Jake Redman and Le Riche Ehlers from Parow Golf Club are tied for third after three-under-par 69s.

Of the pre-tournament favourites, Johan Du Buisson carded a one-under-par 71, Dylan Frittelli a one-over-par 73, Adrian Ford a three-over-par 75 and Ruan Botha a nine-over-par 81.

“If someone gave me a 71 at the beginning of the round I would have taken it,” said Du Buisson.

The 28 year old last played a competitive round here in December when he missed the cut at the SAA Open by four strokes. “Today was quite lenient as apposed to the SAA Open,” the Kuilsrivier golfer explained. “The wind was alright and the tees were up, so it was easier than December. You could hit irons off the tee today, while at the SAA Open you had to hit driver.”

Du Buisson was confident that he could close in on Mackie with an afternoon tee-off time on Wednesday.

“It’s all about consistency, and I’m hoping to shoot a similar kind of score in round two.”

Frittelli, the 2007 World Junior champion, was also satisfied with his opening round on a very tricky layout.

“I strung a few pars together on the front nine and then kind of let it fall in the middle of the round, but then pulled it back. So I’m happy,” said the 17 year old.

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