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Memorable 61 earns Couvra lead in NMB Championship

───   08:06 Fri, 23 Feb 2024

Memorable 61 earns Couvra lead in NMB Championship | News Article
Martin Couvra - Sunshine Tour

“It was just perfect today. I played really well. I’m very happy to have this round in the book. It was just amazing. I’ve never had three eagles in the same round,”

It was a day of firsts for Frenchman Martin Couvra as he played the famous Humewood links for the first time and made three eagles in one round for the first time on his way to leading the first round of the NMB Championship on Thursday.

Couvra took advantage of the largely benign conditions when he teed off and posted an 11-under-par 61 to lead this Sunshine Tour and European Challenge Tour event by two strokes.

South Africa’s Neil Schietekat as well as Swede Bjorn Akesson and Australian Hayden Hopewell are his nearest challengers following their opening rounds of nine under.

Couvra is no stranger to golf success in South Africa. The young Frenchman made history when he became the first player to win the South African Stroke Play Championship, the Proudfoot Trophy (the 36-hole qualifying tournament for the SA Stroke Play), and the South African Amateur Championship in full regulation play in the same year, claiming the triple crown of South African amateur golf in 2023.

He was in the same dominant mood on Thursday as he signed for a round of five birdies and three eagles, including back-to-back eagles on the 15th and 16th holes.

“It was just perfect today. I played really well. I’m very happy to have this round in the book. It was just amazing. I’ve never had three eagles in the same round,” he said.

Couvra has looked in good form in South Africa with his finishes of tied 12th in December’s Investec South African Open and then tied sixth in the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open earlier this month.

And he certainly enjoyed his first competitive round on Humewood.

“I like links courses and this one is perfect. It changes quite a bit with the different winds here. I didn’t have too much wind though. The conditions were perfect.”

Behind him, Schietekat also admitted the wind was forgiving enough to allow him to take advantage on a layout he is equally fond of.

“It was pretty good. A couple of putts went in and it was a good day. I believe the wind is coming though so that will be fun and games. But I do enjoy this golf course. You’ve got to play different shots and run a lot of them on the ground. This is an amazing golf course. It plays like a true links and I’ve always enjoyed coming back here.” – Michael Vlismas.


SCORES:

61 - Martin Couvra

63 - Bjorn Akesson, Neil Schietekat, Hayden Hopewell

64 - JC Ritchie, Yurav Premlall, Danie Van Niekerk, Keenan Davidse, Anthony Michael

65 - Ruan Korb, Oliver Lindell, Maximilian Steinlechner, Pierre Pineau, Stefan Wears-Taylor, Lee Slattery, Robin Williams

66 - Matthew Spacey, Daniel van Tonder, Javier Sainz, Jonathan Caldwell, Luca Cianchetti

67 - Ethan Smith, Kyle Barker, Tristen Strydom, Angel Ayora, Per Langfors, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Euan Walker, Bradley Bawden

68 - Mateusz Gradecki, Niklas Lemke, Jovan Rebula, Luke Jerling, JJ Senekal, Felix Mory, Benjamin Hebert, Louis Albertse, Ross Mcgowan, Luca Filippi, Keagan Thomas, Quim Vidal, Sean Cronje, Christiaan Basson, Keelan van Wyk, Gregorio De Leo, Jaco Prinsloo, Romain Wattel, Jacques Blaauw, Jacques P de Villiers, Wynand Dingle, David Langley, Jerome Lando Casanova, Dan Erickson

69 - Jonathan Broomhead, Shaun Norris, Victor Pastor, Estiaan Conradie, Jeremy Freiburghaus, Jean Hugo, Zan Stirn, Dylan Naidoo, Tom Shadbolt, Dermot Mcelroy, Nicolai Kristensen, Hamish Brown

70 - Rupert Kaminski, Robson Chinhoi, Alfie Plant, MJ Viljoen, Hennie Otto, Maxence Giboudot, Ben Schmidt, Albert Venter, Cole Madey, Lars Keunen, Pierre Pellegrin, Martin Vorster, Oliver Hundeboll, Marc Hammer, Lyle Rowe, Jake Redman, John Murphy, Hennie O'Kennedy, Jack McDonald, Aron Zemmer

71 - Anton Albers, Christofer Blomstrand, Tyron Davidowitz, George Bloor, Robin Sciot-Siegrist, Rhys West, James Allan, Jack Floydd, Ronan Mullarney, Andoni Etchenique, Sean Bradley, Gary Hurley, Martin Rohwer, Heinrich Bruiners, Darren Fichardt, Franklin Manchest, Rourke van der Spuy, Gary Stal, Martin Simonsen, Franck Daux, Dayne Moore, Josh Hilleard

72 - Erhard Lambrechts, Clement Guichard, Rhys Thompson, Combrinck Smit, Malcolm Mitchell, Mikael Lindberg, Jaco Van Zyl, Keith Horne, Gregory Bourdy, Toto Thimba Jnr, Peter Karmis, Conor O'Rourke, Jiri Zuska, Jack Senior, Nikhil Rama, Jeppe Kristian Andersen, Brandon Stone, Herman Loubser, Gerhard Pepler

73 - Adriel Poonan, Gregory Mckay, Toby Tree, Curtis Knipes, Christoffer Bring, David Boote, Kristoffer Reitan, Makhetha Mazibuko, Luke Brown

74 - Timo Vahlenkamp, Robin Roussel, Borja Virto, Anton Karlsson, Stuart Krog, Ronan Kleu, CJ du Plessis, Tomas Gouveia, Adam Breen, James Hart du Preez

75 - Rikard Karlberg, Chris Paisley, Karabo Mokoena

76 - George Mason, Allister de Kock, Julien Sale

77 - Joachim B. Hansen, James Kamte

78 - Oihan Guillamoundeguy, Merrick Bremner

83 - Christopher Feldborg

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