A little break from a lot of hard work was the recipe for Bryce Easton on Thursday as he fired a four-under-par 68 to share the first-round lead of the R700,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Sishen Golf and Country Club.
He has recently made much on social media of his work and the fruits of that were five birdies and a bogey around the 6,549-metre layout to join Werner van Niekerk, Tyrone Ferreira and local Theunis Spangenberg at the head of the field for the 54-hole event.
‘I have actually been working quite hard,’ he said, ‘But I did take the last two weeks off for a vacation in Greece. It’s funny how it works. Sometimes a break is needed and you need to recharge the batteries. So I’m happy to get back and come here and get off to a good start.’
He started really well from the 10th tee, with four birdies in his first six holes. He bogeyed the 17th, but he managed to regain that shot with a birdie on the second after he turned. He came home in level par as the wind began to pick up towards the end of his round, putting a brake on scoring for just about everyone.
‘It was already breezy and the wind was swirling around a bit for my last six holes,’ said Easton, ‘so I’m pleased to get my round under the belt.’
Van Niekerk and Spangenberg each also dropped a single shot to go with their five birdies, but Ferreira’s round – especially his homeward nine – was filled with a bit more drama. He dropped three shots on his way in, matched by three birdies. But the four birdies he made on his outward nine stood him in good stead.
One shot behind the leading quartet was Derick Petersen, with a group of seven players another shot back on two-under.
For Easton, the work he’s been doing is not so much mechanical as mental. ‘It’s more process stuff,’ he said, ‘getting myself around the course, managing myself and keeping it in play.’
He had his father on the bag, and that might have contributed to that ‘management’. “He doesn’t get too involved,” laughed Easton. ‘My dad lets me do my own thing, but he tries to make sure I’m going through my routine.’
Part of that routine was to enjoy a lunch, and then head to the range to keep working on those processes ahead of the second round.
68 – Werner van Niekerk, Bryce Easton, Tyrone Ferreira, Theunis Spangenberg
69 – Derick Petersen
70 – Ryan Tipping, Lyle Rowe, Teaghan Gauche, Thanda Mavundla, Russel Franz, Hennie du Plessis, Justin Harding