Smith sets the SA pace at Notts
Austrian Lukas Lipold and Englishmen Ben Taylor and Jordan Wrisdale finished in a three-way tie for the first round lead, while Jason Smith leads the five-man South African delegation in the Brabazon Trophy at Notts Golf Club in Hollinwell, England.
The trio set the clubhouse target at a three-under-par 69 on a breezy day in Nothingham.
On a sunny, but breezy day, 25 players managed to come home in par or better and the leaderboard has a distinctively international flavour with seven countries represented in the top 20.
Smith shot a 73 to finish well within striking distance of the three-way tie at the top.
The Irene golfer offset bogeys at two, five, 11 and 13 with birdies at three, six and 16 to tie for 28th at one under.
The cut will fall at 60 players and ties after the second round and the balance of the South African contingent will have to pull out all the stops in today’s second round.
Fellow TuksSport Golf Academy player Hendrikus Stoop turned one under after a bogey start and birdie finish on the front nine, however the Centurion golfer lost his footing with five bogeys on the back. Stoop signed for a five over 77 and a share of 80th.
Jade Buitendag, Matthew Spacey and Teaghan Gauche all registered seven-over-par 79s.
Buitendag from Southern Cape was level through 10, but dropped shots at 13, 15 and 16 and a nine at the par-five 17th sunk his campaign.
Spacey from Central Gauteng mixed three birdies with six bogeys and two double bogeys.
Gauche, back in action after a two week lay-off due to acute tendinitis, was two over at the turn. The Gauteng North player had a pair of double bogeys and two bogeys down the back stretch, but rallied with a birdie at 17 and par at 18 to stem the bleeding.
Meanwhile England’s Oliver Carr had reason to celebrate.
The Cheshire player had two eagles, including a hole-in-one on his way to an opening 70 and a share of joint fourth. Carr notched an eagle at the par-five sixth before he holed out with a seven-iron at the 178-yard ninth.