Neil O’Briain was left “underwhelmed” despite a solid even par start to his Sunshine Tour season at the Eye of Africa PGA Championship in South Africa.
The Dubliner, who’s set to remain in SA for what could be five events until mid-March, carded three bogeys and three birdies in an opening round of 72.
Currently at level par, he finds himself seven shots off a fast pace set by South Africans Victor Lange and JC Ritchie.
Last year’s Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year, O’Briain felt it was a round that got away from him but saw enough in his ball-striking to go into the rest of the week with optimism.
“A little bit underwhelming to be honest,” was O’Briain’s initial assessment. “I hit the ball nicely but had a couple of bad three putts out there; the greens were like lightening and the golf course is quite long.
“But I played solid, definitely content with how I hit it. I had four or five lip outs which didn’t help but obviously that happens to everybody.
All-in-all, it was very, very close to being very good. I’m looking forward to kicking on again tomorrow and getting a good start to this run of events down here.
“I’m happy with my game so I just have to stay patient and hopefully everything will start falling into place.”
O’Briain, who got married last November before giving the clubs a rest to focus on family life, will be hoping his short-stick can catch fire tomorrow in order to build some confidence through a busy February’s golf.