Nienaber in four-way tie for Limpopo Championship lead

golf04 April 2024 16:50
By:Michael Vlismas
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Wilco Nienaber © Sunshine Tour/Carl Fourie

The intense competitiveness of the Sunshine Tour shone through again on Thursday as the first round of the Limpopo Championship ended in a four-way tie for the lead at the Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate.

Wilco Nienaber, Michael Hollick, Deon Germishuys and Ethan Smith all opened with rounds of six-under-par 66 to share the lead in this bushveld retreat.

And just one shot behind them the quality continues with Zander Lombard and multiple Sunshine Tour winner Jean Hugo in a group of players on five under, while Luca Filippi – who finished second here last year – is just two shots off the lead.

There were even two holes-in-one in Thursday’s first round from Erhard Lambrechts on the par-three 17th and Karabo Mokoena on the par-three eighth.

“The quality of golf on the Sunshine Tour is really strong, so my approach in a first round is to just try and not play yourself out of it,” said Nienaber.

The lanky young professional returned from a short break and posted a bogey-free opening round in a tournament where he finished second in 2020.

“Six under is always a nice score on any golf course, and to come back after a break and shoot a bogey-free round is always good,” said Nienaber.

“Today was really good and very solid, and pretty straightforward. The greens were pretty slow so that was tricky, but I managed well. My length off the tee does help here, but not always. There are some holes, like the par-five 18th for instance, where you are restricted on how far you can hit it.

“But I have good memories here. I came here for the first time in 2020 and my dad caddied for me that week. This week I’m really trying to be happy on the golf course and realise that there are things that are going to happen during a round that aren’t within my control. So hopefully it will be more of the same over the next three rounds.”

Alongside him, Hollick is an obvious threat on the title as well. The KwaZulu-Natal professional has been playing impressive golf of late and comes into this tournament having finished second in the Stella Artois Players Championship in late March.


66 - Michael Hollick, Deon Germishuys, Wilco Nienaber, Ethan Smith

67 - Anthony Michael, Zander Lombard, Jacques Blaauw, Jacques Kruyswijk, Jacques P de Villiers, Wynand Dingle, Jovan Rebula, Jean Hugo

68 - Luca Filippi, Rupert Kaminski, Louis Albertse, Tristen Strydom, James Mack, Karabo Mokoena

69 - MJ Viljoen, Keenan Davidse, Keegan Mclachlan, Fredrik From, Nikhil Rama, Jonathan Broomhead, Steven Le Roux, Quintin Wilsnach

70 - LB Boshoff, Hennie O'Kennedy, Jbe' Kruger, Martin Vorster, Robin Williams, Luke Brown, Sean Bradley, Conner Mackenzie, James Hart du Preez, Jason Roets, Gerhard Pepler, Ricky Hendler, Dylan Naidoo, Rourke van der Spuy, Rhys West, Dylan Mostert, Kyle De Beer

71 - Trevor Fisher Jnr, Erhard Lambrechts, Keelan van Wyk, Neil Schietekat, Kyle Barker, Danie Van Niekerk, Lyle Rowe, Makhetha Mazibuko, Madalitso Muthiya, Marcel Steyn Scholtz, Willie Olivier, Tristin Galant, Ruan Korb, Albert Venter, Anton Karlsson, Stuart Krog, Yurav Premlall, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Wade Jacobs, Leon Visser, Joe Long

72 - Simon du Plooy, Pierre Pellegrin, Dayne Moore, Sean Cronje, Luke Jerling, Ulrich van den Berg, Richie O'Donovan, Gregory Mckay, Ryan Tipping, Alex Haindl, Ruan de Smidt, Irvin Mazibuko, Austin Bautista, Dylan Kayne, Christiaan Basson, Jastice Mashego, Allister de Kock

73 - Jake Redman, Drikus Joubert, Robson Chinhoi, Jared Harvey, Samuel Simpson, David Meyers, Umar Davids, Gerhard Trytsman, Travis Ladner, Siyanda Mwandla, Thabang Simon, Ruan Conradie, Merrick Bremner, Kyle McClatchie, Tyron Davidowitz

74 - Warwick Purchase, Peter Karmis, Matthew Spacey, Ryan Van Velzen, Nicholaus Frade, Ronald Rugumayo, Combrinck Smit, Luke Trocado, Benjamin Follett-Smith, Herman Loubser, Toto Thimba Jnr, Jack Hawksby, Aneurin Gounden, Keelan Africa

75 - CJ du Plessis, Richard Joubert, Nyasha Muyambo, James Pennington, Reinhardt Blaauw, Adriel Poonan

76 - Heinrich Bruiners, Evance Vukeya, Tumelo Molloyi, Estiaan Conradie, Franklin Manchest

77 - Jonathan Waschefort, Keagan Thomas, Haydn Porteous, Michael Kok, Alphius Kelapile

78 - Mandla Dlamini Jnr, Lwazi Gqira

79 - James Kamte, Lindani Ndwandwe, Vaughn van Deventer

80 - Louis Botha, Ricco Motsa

83 - Sentanio Minnie