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Ahlers chasing a place in Dimension Data Pro-Am history

8th May 2021

Ahlers chasing a place in Dimension Data Pro-Am history

South Africa’s Jaco Ahlers will seek to become only the third golfer in the 26-year history of the Dimension Data Pro-Am to win the title twice as he heads into Sunday’s final round at Fancourt tied for the lead with American Chase Hanna.

Ahlers signed for a bogey-free 68 on the Outeniqua course on Saturday to top the leaderboard on 15 under par alongside Hanna, who posted a third round of 64. They are two strokes clear of the field, with Stanislav Matus and Henric Sturehed their nearest challengers.

The illustrious history of the Dimension Data Pro-Am has seen some of the biggest names in world golf win this title, including Mark McNulty, Nick Price, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Lawrie. But to date, only two golfers have managed to win it twice.

The first to do so was Nick Price in 1997 and 1998, and he was followed by Darren Fichardt in 2004 and 2010. Ahlers will look to join this exclusive club of champions as he tries to add to his 2018 triumph in this event.

“I’ll take that,” he said after a third round in which he hit the ball superbly but just couldn’t make the putts before he birdied the last for a share of the lead.

“Unfortunately the putter was very cold today. But I’m still in a share of the lead and we’re two shots ahead of third place at the moment which is nice.”

An unwilling putter forced Ahlers to rely on the one area of his game which he been working very hard on.

“Patience. I’ve struggled in the past with patience, and today was all about patience. I hit the ball so well but just didn’t make putts. I missed a really short one on 17 which left a sour taste in my mouth. But if I didn’t have the patience I probably wouldn’t have birdied the last hole to tie for the lead. I’ll work on the putting and just get a bit more comfortable with that. My ball striking is good and I know this place well enough. I just need to make a few putts.”

His co-leader, Hanna, also relied heavily on patience to get him to this point.

“I stayed patient pretty much all week and I kind of knew a low one was there and it happened to come today. It’s exciting. I haven’t been in contention out here so I’m just looking forward to the final day and seeing how I’ll handle it.”

Another former champion in George Coetzee, winner here in 2016 and runner-up last year, will certainly keep them both focused on the job at hand as he heads into the final round just four shots off the lead. – Michael Vlismas

Photo: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour

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Wilco ready for the weekend at Fancourt

7th May 2021

Nienaber, Ahlers, Sturehed ready for the weekend at Fancourt

It’s the round Wilco Nienaber has been looking for, and it’s given him the opportunity he’s been looking for. With a 64 on Fancourt’s Outeniqua course on Friday, Nienaber heads into the weekend of the R6 million Dimension Data Pro-Am tied for the lead and relishing being in contention.

“It’s great. This is what you play for. I’m really looking forward to the weekend, and this is a nice place to be in contention as well,” he said at the end of a second round which saw him tied for the lead on 11 under alongside fellow South African Jaco Ahlers and Swede Henric Sturehed.

They are one stroke clear of the trio of Niklas Moller, Stanislav Matus and Michael Hoey. George Coetzee, who won here in 2016 and finished second last year, is also right in the mix just two strokes off the lead. And Frenchman Jeong Weon Ko produced an incredible 62 on the Outeniqua, including five birdies to start his round as he went out in 29 to eventually finish on a total of nine under.

A total of 10 players were unable to finish because of poor light and will complete their second rounds on Saturday morning.

There was almost a feeling of relief from Nienaber as his round of eight under has given him a shot at glory in this Sunshine Tour and European Challenge Tour co-sanctioned event.

“I definitely feel like this has been coming for a while. After the Limpopo Championship, I feel like I’ve been hitting it well and making putts. Today I had one stressful hole, but the rest was pretty easy. A 64 is always a really nice score. There were definitely more chances that I didn’t take, but it’s great coming off the course with a score of -8 and knowing you still left a few out there. I’m happy.”

It was a round built on a fabulous start of an eagle and two birdies in his first three holes (for this tournament, the players playing the back nine of Outeniqua first tee off the 11th and finish on the 10th).

“I think my start just launched me into a really good mindset. It made me believe I don’t have to push too hard. It’s always nice to be four under through three. The conditions were great. The wind flicked around a bit towards the end which made some of the approaches interesting, but the greens were soft and spinning quite a bit. It was a lovely day to play golf.”

Ahlers also played the Outeniqua on Friday, and similarly he knew he needed to take advantage.

“The Outeniqua is a lot shorter and you have a lot more wedges going into it. You can’t stagnate on the Outeniqua. You need to go out and make birdies. On Montagu, if you shoot two under par it’s a good round, but not on Outeniqua,” the winner of the 2018 Dimension Data Pro-Am said after his 66.

“Being an ambassador at Fancourt helps a lot in terms of knowing these courses well. I can work off experience here. I’m really looking forward to the weekend. I haven’t played as well as I know I can over the past few weeks, so this is nice to have a bit of form going into the weekend.”

And Ahlers is also well aware of just how big this weekend can be for the champion.

“This is probably one of the biggest tournaments they’ll have on the Challenge Tour’s regular season. If you can pull off a win here you’re basically 70% of the way to a European Tour card. And then as always you have the invite to the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational as well. It’s a massive event for our Sunshine Tour.”

Sturehed was the only one amongst the three leaders who played the more challenging Montagu course on Friday, signing for a solid 66.

“The Montagu is quite a strategic course. I managed to place the ball on the right side of the pins, which was key. I’m really looking forward to the weekend. This is a fantastic venue. Both courses are fantastic, and everything around here is magnificent,” he said. – Michael Vlismas

Photo: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour

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Fichardt predicts bright future for young star Jarvis

Fichardt predicts bright future for young star Jarvis

Veteran professional Darren Fichardt has played a few rounds with top young amateur Casey Jarvis in professional events recently, and believes the 17 year old has a very big future in the game.

“He’s an amazing young talent,” Fichardt said at this week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt, where Jarvis is enjoying his third consecutive week playing with the professionals after the GolfRSA National Squad member was given an invitation by the Sunshine Tour to compete in this South African Swing of events co-sanctioned with the European Challenge Tour. The young golfer started well with an opening 70 that left him eight-shot off the first-round lead.

Fichardt played with Jarvis in last year’s South African Open, and then again in last week’s Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open and is highly impressed.

“He’s got a lot of fire and passion, and an unbelievable short game. I think he’s going to be very exciting to watch in the future. I think Casey is going to be an awesome talent.”

Jarvis missed the cut in the Limpopo Championship and the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open. But it was his performance at Royal Cape Golf Club in Cape Town that caught the eye of multiple Sunshine Tour and European Tour champion Fichardt.

“I played with him for the first two rounds in Cape Town. He had a lot of bad breaks at Royal Cape Golf Club. The way he handled himself and came out of that was impressive for a 17-year-old. He needed to shoot four under over the last three holes to make the cut, and he went three under with an eagle, birdie and then just missed the final birdie to make it.

“He’s got a lot of fight. You can see why he’s won a lot of amateur tournaments. I’m very excited to see what he does when he’s in contention. I think he must be amazing when he’s in contention because he’s just got that fighting killer instinct.”

Jarvis certainly has the results to back up the belief in his potential. In 2020, at the age of 16 years six month and 17 days, he became the youngest winner of the South African Stroke Play Championship after posting rounds of 66-65-67-65 for a total of 25 under par top finish nine strokes better than his nearest competitor.

Then he completed the double by winning the South African Amateur Championship, beating Scotland’s James Wilson 7&6 in the final. To this he added victory in several of GolfRSA’s biggest provincial Opens. His victory in the Gauteng North Open in particular came after rounds of 69-63-64-63 for an eight-stroke victory. He ended the year with another major milestone, winning the Freddie Tait Trophy as the leading amateur in the South African Open Championship after finishing tied 25th overall. He was only the second golfer since 1969 to achieve the treble of the SA Amateur Stroke Play, SA Amateur and Freddie Tait Trophy in the same year.

And in this week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am, the young star is hoping to continue learning from the professionals.

“It’s been great to play in these tournaments. I’ve learned a lot over the last few weeks. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that you’ve just got to stay calm. All these pros are calm out here when something goes wrong. You’ve just got to stay calm and positive and stick to your gameplan. The pros out here are just so good. You need to be playing well every single week if you want to win,” said Jarvis.

Jarvis is planning to take this experience back to the amateur ranks, where he hopes to compete for honours in the biggest titles in the game as one of GolfRSA’s elite national players.

“I’m hopefully going to go over to the US Amateur and British Amateur this year and next year. I want to gain as much experience there as well and try and win one of the big ones. That’s the plan. I’ll definitely be taking what I’ve learned here back to amateur golf and hopefully I can win again soon.” – Michael Vlismas

Photo: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour

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Advice from Jack Nicklaus inspires Evans

6th May 2021

Advice from Jack Nicklaus inspires Evans

A bit of golf advice from Jack Nicklaus, and then personal advice from a friend all paid off for England’s Ryan Evans as he signed for a 10-under-par 62 on the Outeniqua golf course at Fancourt on Thursday to lead the first round of the Dimension Data Pro-Am by one stroke.

The first two rounds of this Sunshine Tour and European Challenge Tour event are split between the Outeniqua and Montagu courses, and the Outeniqua was certainly in a giving mood on a wet and overcast morning.

Evans took full advantage with 11 birdies and only one bogey to give himself the edge over Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey on nine under par, and fellow Englishman Daniel Gavins on eight under. Merrick Bremner is the leading South African with an opening round of seven-under-par 65 on the Outeniqua. And GolfRSA National Squad amateur Casey Jarvis made a good start to his week with a round of two-under 70 on the Montagu course.

But it was Evans’s mental approach that made all the difference as he was inspired by the advice from Nicklaus and a friend.

“A friend of mine in America is Tom Watson’s manager, and he invited me around to Jack Nicklaus’s home for drinks. Mr Nicklaus showed me around his home and all of his major trophies. It was just an amazing hour of chatting with the greatest golfer of all time. I asked him what his favourite golf course was and he said, ‘I loved every single course I played’. He told me you have to go to every tournament and love every golf course because you’re there to win and there’s no point complaining about conditions or complaining about the golf course. Every course you go to must be the best course you’re going to play,” said Evans.

“And then I had a chat with a friend yesterday and I said I felt like I was taking bad results into the next week. He said just let it go and asked me why I started playing golf as a kid. I told him it was because I loved it. And he just said go out there and love the game. So I went out there with the mentality that I’m here to enjoy what I do.”

Another man who enjoyed every bit of his first round was Hoey. He also played the Outeniqua on day one and was delighted with a bogey-free 63.

“I basically retired and had lost a bit of interest in the game, so I didn’t have great expectations coming out to South Africa. I just thought I’m going to come to South Africa and enjoy it because I always love the food and weather here. So this is a nice bonus. I made some outrageous putts. It’s nice to feel the nerves again as well,” he said.

The low scoring all came on the Outeniqua, with Englishman Matthew Baldwin’s 66 the low round on the Montagu on Thursday. – Michael Vlismas

Photo: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour

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Refreshed Coetzee ready for Dimension Data Pro-Am challenge

5th May 2021

Refreshed Coetzee ready for Dimension Data Pro-Am challenge

A bit of time off and the recent flurry of South African victories on the European Tour and European Challenge Tour has seen George Coetzee arrive at Fancourt for this week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am refreshed, regrouped and excited to get going in Thursday’s first round.

The R6 million tournament is one of the longest standing on the Sunshine Tour dating back to 1996 and is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and European Challenge Tour. It also features on the Sunshine Ladies Tour schedule, with their tournament coinciding with the men this week.

All of which puts an already world-class golf resort even more in the spotlight this week.

And it certainly brings a smile to Coetzee’s face as he returns to a place he loves and as part of a field also including recent European Tour champion Daniel van Tonder, recent Challenge Tour winners Brandon Stone and JC Ritchie, rising stars Wilco Nienaber and Jayden Schaper, GolfRSA National Squad member and top amateur Casey Jarvis, and a number of South African and international golfers who’ve been in contention over the past few weeks.

“This is the probably the first event on my schedule every year. I’m always excited to come here,” said Coetzee.

“I love this place. It allows me to also sneak in a couple of surf sessions and get my mind off golf. But it’s a pleasure to come to a resort like this where you can fully focus on golf.”

Coetzee is playing his first tournament since two tournaments in Kenya in March, and this event provides him the perfect opportunity to work on certain parts of his game while also preparing for this month’s PGA Championship.

“I played in Kenya and then I felt like I needed a couple of weeks to clear my mind and work on the right things with my game. So I took two weeks off to switch off completely, and now I’ve regrouped and got a good plan in place, and hopefully my golf will show that,” he said.

Coetzee was the first South African to win on the European Tour after lockdown in September last year, and it sparked a flurry of South African winners including Garrick Higgo, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Justin Harding, Daniel van Tonder and Dean Burmester on the European Tour, and in the past two weeks in South Africa, Stone and Ritchie in these Challenge Tour co-sanctioned events.

“We’re all a very competitive bunch of players. Even though we want to beat each other, we also feed off each other’s wins. So seeing the others win gives you confidence because we all come from the same home Tour with the same opportunities,” he said.

For this week, the Sunshine Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour fields will each be split in half and play the Outeniqua and Montagu courses at Fancourt on alternating days for the first and second rounds. Thereafter, the Sunshine Tour field will be cut to the top 60 and ties, and the Sunshine Ladies Tour field to the top 30 and ties. The Sunshine Ladies Tour will then play the final round of their 54-hole tournament at the Outeniqua on the Saturday, while the Sunshine Tour will play the final two rounds of their 72-hole tournament on the Montagu. – Michael Vlismas

Photo: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour

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Golf’s South African love story

4th May 2021

Golf’s South African love story

It is one of the great love stories in golf. The husband and wife team of Daniel and Abi van Tonder continues to flourish on the fairways with victory after victory, the latest of which in the Kenya Savannah Classic in March earned them a European Tour card.

In the last nine months Team Van Tonder has won five times. Van Tonder heads into this week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt as a man very much on the rise in the world rankings. His performances on the Sunshine Tour also saw him experience a World Golf Championship event this year, and he will make his Major debut in the upcoming PGA Championship.

At every opportunity he gets, Van Tonder credits his wife and caddie Abi for the calming influence she is on his bag. Her impact on his life has been far greater though. A quiet and almost shy woman from a humble upbringing in the small town of Potgietersrus, she has been the rock that helped him get through the most difficult years in his life.

Van Tonder suffered immense and sustained emotional trauma as a child and teenager. It carried over into his early professional career and it could quite easily have broken him. “It was a very difficult time for him. The whole of 2015, 2016 and 2017 was especially bad,” says Abi. There is no need to retell here exactly what happened, because this is a love story. And Abi came along at exactly the right time in his life.

She was quite literally a lifeline for Van Tonder when, on that tournament day in December 2013, he walked up to her coffee station on the driving range at Mount Edgecombe during the Nelson Mandela Championship.

“He came over and bought a coffee from me, and started a conversation,” says Abi.

But much like a challenging golf course, Van Tonder was going to need to use every club in his bag to win the heart of the lady at the coffee station.

“We’re both Afrikaans speaking, but I spoke English to him because to be honest I wasn’t really interested,” she says with a laugh.

“He came to buy a coffee quite early and I wasn’t actually open yet. I told him he needed to wait for his change.”

And that’s when Van Tonder delivered the “shot” of his lifetime that would’ve made even Cupid blush.

“He told me he’d wait for a pretty face anytime,” says Abi. “We just kept in contact from there. Then we started dating in 2014, and the following year we were engaged.”

As simple as Van Tonder likes to keep things on the golf course, he certainly makes up for it as a romantic. His proposal to Abi was definitely one for the books.

“He proposed to me when he played in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2015. But then he said it’s half a proposal because he wants to do it properly. After the tournament he took me in a helicopter ride to the Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu-Natal, and we had a picnic on the mountain there. He proposed to me there. It was quite special.

“Caddying wasn’t actually in the picture. I wanted to be a game ranger. But it went that way, and now here we are.”

Abi has had a front-row seat to Van Tonder’s transformation as a golfer over the past few years to the point where now has a European Tour card, is playing in Majors, and is working hard to break into the top 50 on the world rankings from his current position of 75th.

“He’s matured a lot on the golf course. He used to be too aggressive on the course and he would get angry with himself. I joke with him now that he’s getting older so can’t get so angry anymore. So now if he gets angry, he’s over it by the next tee box. I like to joke with him a lot during a round. For example, in Kenya (during the final round of the European Tour’s Kenya Savannah Classic) he made back-to-back bogeys on the second nine. When he made the second bogey I turned to him and called him an egg. I was just like, ‘You’re such an egg’. He just gave me this comical look, and when the camera was pointing at him he just smiled. It’s little things like that which just break the seriousness a bit. I know him when he gets too serious. It’s not good for him, when he’s too zoned in. He almost loses focus then.”

And now it’s time to take this love story on the road, as the two of them embark on their European Tour adventure. Albeit with the restrictions of love in the time of Covid.

“It’s going to be fun traveling on the European Tour, but the sad part is that with Covid we can’t do any sightseeing,” says Abi.

Either way, you still know that the happiest player-caddie couple in golf are going to have a fun time together. – Michael Vlismas

Photo: Shaun Roy/Sunshine Tour

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Burmester tops in Tenerife

3rd May 2021

Burmester tops in Tenerife

Dean Burmester claimed his first win in just over four years as a bogey free closing 62 handed him a dominant five shot victory at the 2021 Tenerife Open.

The South African entered the day at Golf Costa Adeje one off the lead but hit the front on the seventh and never looked back, moving to 25 under and holding off the challenge of Germany’s Nicolai Von Dellingshausen, Pole Adrian Meronk and Finn Kalle Samooja.

Meronk carded a 67 and Samooja a 69 to supply the main threat throughout the day and both finished at 19 under before overnight leader Von Dellingshausen eagled the last in a 68 to leapfrog them into second.

Burmester’s win at the co-sanctioned Tshwane Open in 2017 was his first on the European Tour and seventh on the Sunshine Tour, but he had not claimed a worldwide victory since.

The victory is the fourth in the last seven events by a South African and follows Garrick Higgo’s triumph just seven days ago at the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open.

Higgo was among a huge South African contingent waiting for Burmester as he strolled up the 18th and the popular 31-year-old was sprayed with champagne after claiming his first win outside of his home continent.

“I think any time you can make your game travel, you’re achieving great things, so I’m ecstatic to win here,” he said.

“I’d obviously love to get in that top 100 in the world, it’s quite lucrative, a lot of things happen when you get into that top 100 so if I can get back there I’ll be very excited.

“Hopefully I can go from strength to strength now and that’ll be my plan, I won’t stop working hard and trying to get better.”

“He added: “It’s amazing, just to have the support of our little group of South African guys, we’re kind of like a family out here. We all travel a long way to come and ply our craft so just to have those guys on the 18th green, all the caddies, all the players, spraying me with champagne and congratulating me – there’s no better feeling in the world.”

All three members of the final group took advantage of the par five first and Burmester followed it up with a tee shot to four feet at the second to join the lead, while Von Dellingshausen dropped back after missing the green.

Samooja was the solo leader as he and Von Dellingshausen birdied the third despite poor tee shots before Burmester missed a short putt for birdie on the fourth.

The leader put the pressure on as he holed from 19 feet at the par three fifth but Burmester followed him in from a third of that distance, holed a 15 footer on the next and put another tee shot inside ten feet on the par three seventh to hit the front on his own.

Samooja failed to get up and down on the eighth but the lead was soon back to to one as he put an approach to 11 feet at the ninth, with Burmester making a smart two putt to save par.

Burmester then produced an excellent up-and-down after going long and left at the par five 11th and the lead was up to three shots.

The gap was cut to two and the man to do it was Meronk, who was making a steady move through the field.

After taking advantage of the third, he sandwiched a 30 footer at the seventh with smart approaches to the sixth and ninth to turn in 31.

A two putt at the 13th had him as the closest challenger but Burmester got up and down at the par five to re-establish his cushion.

An approach to four feet at the 15th brought Burmester another birdie and with Meronk dropping a shot ahead on the 16th after finding sand off the tee, the lead was five with three to play.

Von Dellingshausen briefly cut it to four with an eagle from the fringe at the last after bogeying the eighth and birdieing the 11th, but Burmester birdied the 18th to seal an emphatic triumph.

American John Catlin finished at 18 under, a shot clear of South Korean Yikeun Chang and Spaniard Pedro Oriol and two ahead of Higgo, home favourites Adri Arnaus and Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, and Australian Scott Hend. – European Tour

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Ritchie finds his way back in Cape Town

2nd May 2021

Ritchie finds his way back in Cape Town

After what he described as a time of tears, the stress of losing his game and almost giving up golf, JC Ritchie was back in the winner’s circle again after beating Jacques Blaauw in a playoff for the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open at the Royal Cape Golf Club on Sunday.

Ritchie finished regulation play tied with Blaauw for the lead on 14 under par. And then he maintained his perfect playoff record with a birdie on the first extra hole to win his second tournament on the European Challenge Tour and the eighth title of his Sunshine Tour career.

“Something’s back. My game disappeared during Covid and I’ve been through hell with a lot of tears in the last year. It’s been a tough time and I’ve gone to some terrible places. With all the tears, practice and at times wanting to give up, this win just cancels out all the bad things that have happened since Covid. To be able to get myself back in this position and strong enough to win again is very satisfying,” said an emotional Ritchie.

It was a fairytale finish to a week that started with Ritchie struggling over his first nine holes in Thursday’s first round, and not sure what lay in store for him.

“Slowly throughout this week my game felt like it was starting to come back. Somehow I found some momentum on day one. Then in the final round the same thing happened. It didn’t feel like I was doing much. I was scrambling and didn’t think I’d be able to put up a charge. But on the third hole I holed probably the most difficult bunker shot of my career, and that birdie there started some momentum. I began hitting good shots and giving myself a lot of chances for birdie.”

A further five birdies saw him tied for the lead with Blaauw standing on the 17th tee. But a bogey on 17 put him one behind again. Then he birdied the 18th in regulation for a final round of 66, and birdied it again in the playoff to take the title.

“That bogey on 17 wasn’t fun, but it took a lot of heart to birdie 18 because I’ve played it terribly this week,” he said.

Ritchie has proved a lot of things to himself over the past year of struggles. And in Cape Town on Sunday he could add one more to that list.

“I keep proving to myself that I’m good enough to play on the bigger tours. Hopefully I can get a few more wins now and jump onto the European Tour.” – Michael Vlismas

Photo: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour

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Three-way tie for title chase in Cape Town

1st May 2021

Three-way tie for title chase in Cape Town

South Africans Jacques Blaauw and Neil Schietekat and Spain’s Santiago Tarrio will head into Sunday’s final round of the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open in a three-way tie for the lead at the Royal Cape Golf Club.

Blaauw kept the place he’s held at the top of the leaderboard since day one with a third round 70 on Saturday, lifting him to 11 under par for the tournament. Schietekat signed for a bogey-free 67 to join him there, and Tarrio came through with a strong back nine for his own 67 and a share of the lead. They are two strokes clear of the field.

On a magnificent day in Cape Town, Blaauw was looking very comfortable with a three-shot lead through 14 holes. But a tee shot into the water on the par-three 15th led to a double bogey, and Schietekat’s birdie there saw them level on 11 under. Tarrio completed the leading trio with a back nine of three birdies and an eagle.

“It all went according to plan except for one hole,” Blaauw said of his double bogey on the 15th. “I just made one bad swing. I thought it would clear the water but the ball just kind of stalled in the air. But overall I’m very pleased.”

It has been a particularly good week for Blaauw in the province where he honed his game, and his place at the top of the leaderboard comes after three missed cuts before this.

“Obviously with the form I had coming in I didn’t expect much this week. But I’ve had some good memories coming back to the Cape. My mental game has been good this week, and I’m looking forward to the final round.

“It’s going to be a good battle out there. It’s a very important final round for me. I’ve only got Sunshine Tour status and I’d love to be able to play somewhere else. I would love to get onto another stage.”

Schietekat took one look at the weather on Saturday morning and had expectations of his own for the third round.

“You know that Saturday is moving day and you need to shoot around the 68 or 67 mark to move anywhere, and I shot 67. I hit some good and bad shots, and made some great up-and-downs. There was a lot of scrambling today but sometimes you have to do that on days when you’re not hitting the ball so well. I’ll tighten that up on the range before the final round,” he said.

And Tarrio is delighted to be where he is considering he’s been playing without his own driver all week.

“I broke my driver in the practice round and played the first two rounds with a pro shop driver, and today I played with a new driver. I’m driving it horrible this week, but I’m making a lot of up-and-downs and making good putts. My mental game is very good.” – Michael Vlismas


Photo: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour