BELA BELA, Limpopo – Deon Germishuys produced a putting display that left his playing partners in awe and which even he struggled to explain as he signed for a 63 to give himself a two-stroke lead going into Sunday’s final round of the SDC Open hosted by the Zebula Golf Estate and Spa.
Germishuys rolled in his final birdie on the 18thagainst the backdrop of a magnificent bushveld sunset, and at the end of a long day that for some began as early as a 3:30am wake-up call to complete the weather-affected second round at the nearby Elements Private Golf Reserve and then move straight into the third round at Zebula.
With a round of seven birdies and an eagle the young professional climbed to the top of the leaderboard on 19 under par and is two strokes clear of England’s Marco Penge – playing his first competitive round after being out for seven months following knee surgery – and fellow South African Ruan Conradie.
Germishuys is chasing his maiden professional title, and he created that opportunity for himself with a magnificent putting performance.
“I can’t put it into words. My putter has just been working so well this week. Every putt I looked at went in. You just get days like that, and I hope it can continue on the final day,” said Germishuys.
“It was good fun out there. I was playing good golf, the adrenalin was pumping, and I made a couple of long putts. I’ve been struggling a bit with my putter the last couple of weeks and it just got hot the last three days. My putting was definitely the best part of my game.”
After a stellar amateur career, Germishuys has had moments where he’s threatened to break through on the Sunshine Tour with nine top-10s and even a second place in the 2019 Vodacom Origins of Golf in Stellenbosch.
But in this kind of form, he’ll definitely feel this represents a golden opportunity in a tournament co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and Challenge Tour, and with the international doors that could open for his career.
“I’m excited. I’ve been in this situation once or twice before so I’m hoping to grab this one. I’ve been playing good golf so I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. I won’t put too much pressure on myself. I’m still going to play the way I’ve played and stick to my routine.”
Part of his routine which has worked so well for him this week is a bit of afternoon fishing.
“I’ve been sharing with Clinton Grobler this week and every afternoon it’s the same, he changes into shorts and goes fishing at a nearby pond. I think that’s helped me to relax as well.”
And now it’s time for Germishuys to possibly land the big one himself. – Michael Vlismas
Photo Credit: Tyrone Winfield/Sunshine Tour