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The first day of the Vodacom Origins Golf Championships – referred to as The Goose Chase in honour of Retief Goosen – commenced yesterday at the Simola Country Club.

The first day already ended with a bang when rookie player Ruan de Smidt hit a hole-in-one on the 17th hole. De Smidt used a 9-iron to defeat the 152 meter long par 3.

“I watched as it stuck, spun back and just dropped into the bottom of the cup,” says de Smidt. “When I saw the ball drop, I was so excited. Now I can’t even properly remember how it happened. I guess it doesn’t matter. After all these years playing golf, I finally pulled the right club and nailed my first ace.”

The shot awarded de Smidt with eight VIP tickets to the Springbok versus Wallabies rugby match scheduled for September of this year, courtesy of SAIL.

The eventful day finished off with David Ryan as the frontrunner, tied with Bryce Easton and Albert Pistorius, something which astounded the player himself.

“I saw ‘Ryan’ on the board at the 15th green, but I did a double take when I realised it was me. I was genuinely shocked,” says Ryan. “You look at the field and you kind of expect to see Branden Grace or Jean Hugo leading.”

The tournament’s defending champion, Jean Hugo, is currently tied for the 29th spot, while Volvo China Open winner Branden Grace is tied for position number 10.