Buhai bursts clear at Royal Swazi Open

Ashleigh Buhai

A little less jetlag and a lot more gumption saw Ashleigh Buhai open up a three point lead in the R100 000 Investec Royal Swazi Open on Thursday.

The first round leader arrived at the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club in Swaziland via Dallas, London and Johannesburg on the back of seven straight weeks on the Ladies PGA Tour.

She battled to an opening round of 73 that featured a pair of birdies and three bogeys and was worth one point in the unique Modified Scoring event, but racked up four birdies for eight points that helped to boost the 2017 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion’s overall tally to four points.

“Unfortunately had I sandwiched my only birdie on the front nine between bogeys at six and eight, and I followed a birdie at 12 with a double bogey at 13,” said the 27-year-old Edenvale golfer.

“But I was pretty pleased that I finished par-birdie-par-birdie. I started to find a little rhythm and pace down the last five holes on the back nine. I’ve gone 73, 72 so hopefully I can keep the mistakes to a minimum on Friday and finish in red numbers.”

Investec Property player Stacy Bregman began the second round at zero and the four-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner offset a trio of bogeys with two birdies for one point.

Local favourite Nobuhle Dlamini lost the advantage of four birdies with five dropped shots and a double bogey at 10, while Ladies European Tour campaigner Nicole Garcia matched Buhai with three points.

The reigning Dimension Data Ladies Challenge champion was at minus five at the start of the second round, but a quartet of birdies moved Garcia to minus two. She leads Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia by three points is nine points ahead of three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Bertine Strauss.

PHOTO – Ashleigh Buhai; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

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