SERENGETI ESTATES, Kempton Park – Jaco Ahlers tightened his grip on the season-ending Tour Championship as he moved into a three-stroke lead headed into the weekend at Serengeti Estates.
On another windy day on Friday Ahlers was outstanding with the putter and signed for a 65 to lead on 13 under par. Casey Jarvis is his nearest challenger on 10 under following a 67, and Keenan Davidse continues to do well despite being treated for bronchitis as he posted a 69 to currently lie in third place on eight under par.
Ahlers’s level of comfort at a Serengeti Estates, which he calls his second home, is very clear to see. The only errors he made on Friday were two poor iron shots – both of them on par threes – on his second nine.
“I’m very happy. I did make two bad bogeys on the back nine, which was really just bad iron shots. But other than that the putter is working like magic for me. The greens are good, the golf course is good, so you can’t ask for more,” said Ahlers, who is also staying with his sponsor on the estate this week.
And this is clearly a golf course he enjoys.
“I like this golf course a lot. I can see what I need to do around here. The course fits my eye so I know where to miss it and I know how to get it around here. It really just comes down to the putting. There are a lot of birdies out there. You just need to be patient. My gameplan won’t change for the weekend. Hopefully the putter just keeps working like it is.”
Behind him, the 19-year-old Jarvis keeps pushing for that maiden victory in his rookie season on the Sunshine Tour.
It’s been a remarkable season for the young professional who finished second in the South African PGA Championship, tied ninth in the Joburg Open, tied ninth in the Dimension Data Pro-Am, second in the SDC Open, and then tied second in last week’s Stella Artois Players Championship where he shot that memorable 59 in the third round. – Michael Vlismas