James Kingston takes the early lead at the SA Senior Open
PLETTENBERG BAY – James Kingston started in the best way possible on Tuesday as he aims to defend his 2019 title at the SA Senior Open. His round of five under 67 saw him take lead on the opening round of the picturesque Plettenberg Bay Country Club.
Hosted by Bitou Municipality, the 2021 edition of the SA Senior Open teed off after a one-year hiatus owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The tournament is the pinnacle for golfers competing on the Sunshine Senior Tour with a prize fund of R500 000. The Tour itself features some of the best golfers to have played on the Sunshine Tour in recent memory and is exclusive for golfers over the age of 50.
Day 1 began in warm but breezy conditions with James Kingston setting the tone, firing in 6 birdies and a 2-shot eagle on the 14th to end the day a on 5-under 67. James has won 11 times on the Sunshine Tour, four times on the Asian Tour, twice on the European Tour and has four Senior Tour titles to his name.
Durban born Doug Mcguigan, who won the 2020 Sunshine Senior Tour Order of Merit in 2020, ended the day in second with a 2-under 70 in a near perfect day which only saw him mark one bogey. Roger Wessels meanwhile came in at third following a topsy turvy 71 which saw 4 bogeys and five birdies.
The back 9 and afternoon conditions seemed to be kinder to the golfers, with 14 golfers marking par or under, while only Kingston scoring under par on the front nine.
A number of star names have missed out on the 2021 tournament due to the pandemic. The event though still features a strong lineup of champions from yesteryear, including notable names such as Andre Cruse, Chris Williams and Nic Henning.
The first day of the tournament saw the pros playing in a Pro-Am format with 65 professionals playing alongside 65 amateurs. Day 2 will continue in the same format with Thursday and Friday featuring only the pros.
Day 2 tees off at 08:00 on Wednesday morning with low winds and overcast conditions. Catch all the daily highlights of the SA Senior Open on the Sunshine Senior Tour Facebook page.
SA SENIOR OPEN ROUND 1 SCORES – TOP 5
-5 James Kingston 67
-2 Doug Mcguigan 70
-1 Roger Wessels 71
+3 Eddie Joubert ; Johan Wolfaardt 75
About the Sunshine Senior Tour
The Sunshine Senior Tour is a partnership between the SA Senior Tour and the Sunshine Tour under a license agreement for professional members aged 50 and older in South Africa. The tour structure aims to provide a competitive tournament schedule to accommodate the membership and grow senior professional golf in SA.