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12th October 2022

Bogey-free Bailey leads Blue Label Challenge

SUN CITY, North-West – Like a smooth-running car, American Brooklin Bailey felt that all the different parts of his game were in sync on Thursday as he raced into the lead after the first round of the Blue Label Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club.

Bailey, who began his round on the 10th hole, collected five birdies and an eagle for a bogey-free 65, that translated into 15 points in the modified Stableford scoring system. He was four points ahead of Portugal’s Stephen Ferreira, who had six birdies and a bogey, while the leading players under the South African flag were Ockie Strydom and Jaco van Zyl in third place on 10 points.

“It was nice, hot weather so the body got loose early and I felt super-comfortable after making a great start with birdies on my second and fourth holes,” Bailey said. “I played really well, it just felt fluent in terms of what my swing, my body and the ball were doing.”

Coming from Texas, a typically hot October day in the Pilanesberg, with the temperature reaching 36°, was no bother for the 28-year-old Bailey, who has played the famous Gary Player Country Club layout a couple of times before and embraces the challenge rather than being daunted by it.

“I haven’t gone on very well here before, although I feel like I played good golf but did not get much out of it,” Bailey said. “But it’s a venue I really like, a real test of golf, it tests every facet of your game.

“A lot of credit must go to my caddy George, who made a lot of great decisions and kept me patient. It was a great decision to lay up on 18 and make birdie, and then I holed out from the bunker on the first hole for eagle. Then I hit it to a foot on the next hole for another birdie,” a delighted Bailey said.

Picking up nine points around the turn really knocked the other contenders out of the first-round race, and Bailey is now focused on backing up Thursday’s marvellous score with another low one in Friday’s second round.

“My game has been there this season, just not necessarily full-time,” Bailey admitted. “You’re not going to win or finish top-10 every week, but making cuts is important and in my last seven events I’ve had three top-10s and missed four cuts.

“So I’m really focusing on my consistency. I’m playing well when I’m on form, but there are little parts of my game that need improving, especially in putting and finding the fairways, those are certainly the two key areas.

“I felt like I’ve found my Driver, and after having a putting lesson this week and working on it for three hours one morning, I was really feeling comfortable on the greens as well,” Bailey said.

ROUND 1 SCORES

15 – Brooklin Bailey

11 – Stephen Ferreira

10 – Ockie Strydom, Jaco Van Zyl

9 – MJ Viljoen, Ryan Van Velzen, Jbe’ Kruger

8 – Stefan Wears-Taylor, Louis Albertse

7 – Doug McGuigan, Jayden Schaper, Luca Filippi, Wynand Dingle, Joe Long

6 – Christiaan Basson, Jaco Prinsloo, Peter Karmis, Pieter Moolman, JJ Senekal, Lyle Rowe, Steve Surry

5 – Jared Harvey, Rhys West, Anthony Michael

4 – Matthew Spacey, Christiaan Burke, Rourke van der Spuy, Combrinck Smit, Keith Horne, Keenan Davidse, Jean Hugo

3 – Neil Schietekat, Tristin Galant, Dan Erickson

2 – Michael Kok, Jaco Ahlers, Hayden Griffiths, Dylan Naidoo, Kyle McClatchie, Martin Rohwer, Martin Vorster

1 – Estiaan Conradie, Merrick Bremner, Herman Loubser, Jake Redman, Makhetha Mazibuko

0 – Madalitso Muthiya, Casey Jarvis, Richard Joubert, Hennie O’Kennedy, Dean O’Riley, Sean Bradley

-1 – Ryan Tipping, Luke Jerling, Erhard Lambrechts, Keagan Thomas, Malcolm Mitchell, Thabang Simon, Rupert Kaminski

-2 – Jean-Paul Strydom, Danie Van Niekerk, Adam Breen, Gerard du Plooy, Therion Nel

-3 – Dylan Mostert, Clinton Grobler, Hennie Otto, Jacques P de Villiers

-4 – Riekus Nortje

-5 – Albert Venter, Kyle Barker, Heinrich Bruiners, Jacques Blaauw

-6 – Ruan Conradie

-7 – Ruan Korb

-9 – Andre De Decker, Luke Brown, Bradley Bawden, Ricky Hendler

-12 – Dwayne Basson

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SA stars back and chasing glory in Investec South African Open Championship

South African golf’s biggest stars will be back on local fairways this December as they unite in their quest for Investec South African Open glory and the chance to claim what they’ve called “our fifth Major”.

Charl Schwartzel, Dean Burmester, Dylan Frittelli, MJ Daffue, Brandon Stone, Erik van Rooyen, Thriston Lawrence, Oliver Bekker, Shaun Norris and defending champion Daniel van Tonder have all confirmed their participation in the second oldest national Open in golf at the Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate from 1-4 December.

“I can’t wait to get there and compete in such an iconic event and try I put my name on that trophy alongside the greats like Ernie Els and Gary Player and so many others. For us as South Africans it’s our fifth Major and we all want to win it so badly. For me personally, I’ve won the South African PGA Championship, so to get my name on the Investec South African Open trophy as well and have done the double would be very special,” said PGA Tour campaigner Dean Burmester.

Fellow PGA Tour star Dylan Frittelli said he’s returning to challenge for a title he feels is essential to his career.

“The Investec South African Open is the biggest tournament in the world for me right now besides a Major. It means so much to me. It was the first professional tournament I ever played. I qualified when I was 16 years old. I definitely want to win my national Open before my playing career is over. I think my career will be incomplete if I don’t do that.”

DP World Tour campaigner Oliver Bekker said he is back to try and go one better than his runner-up finish to Daniel van Tonder in last year’s Investec South African Open.

“It’s our home Open and I would really like to have my name on that trophy with the likes of Ernie Els and Gary Player and all of the South African golf legends. After coming so close last year I’m really looking forward to playing well on home soil and hopefully to have a chance of lifting that trophy.”

Shaun Norris said he’s particularly excited about competing on home fairways again.

“It’s always great to play back home, and so much more in your national Open. It’s every golfer’s dream to win his national Open. It will mean the world to me to add my name to that trophy with all of the great players who’ve done it before.”

Thriston Lawrence is also returning home to compete in a championship he’s been watching since he was a young golfer.

“I can’t wait for this year’s Investec South African Open. What an historic event. It’s a tournament I’ll always support because I grew up watching it on TV and have always wanted to win it, especially with all the names on that trophy and the history behind it. I’d obviously love to win it and will give it my all.”

The Sunshine Tour this week launched its ticketing package for this prestigious Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournament aimed at maximising value and the overall experience.

Ticket prices range from R150 for the Thursday or Friday to R300 for the Saturday or Sunday, with a 50% discount if purchased before the end of October. Tickets can be purchased at www.sunshinetour.com.

The world-class action inside the ropes will be matched by a festival of golf for the whole family at this year’s tournament.

The festivities will include a big screen in the tournament village for sports fans to be able to keep up with the latest FIFA World Cup action. There will also be a Golf Expo Centre featuring the very latest in golf equipment. Fans will be able to have their photo taken with the iconic Investec South African Open trophy, and the youngest golf fans will have their own dedicated kid’s area to keep them entertained. The tournament village will include a food and drinks market as well as a Stella Artois beer garden. And a Saturday afternoon music concert will provide the perfect way to relax after the third-round action and prepare for an epic final round.

It will also be more than just the professionals who will have the chance to win big at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate.

From the Thursday to the Saturday of the world’s second oldest national Open, three lucky fans will be selected to prove they have the nerves of steel of the professionals and will win the chance to putt for R10 000 on the 18th green after play. On the Sunday of the final round, three fans will have the chance to also putt for glory, but for R100 000.

It’s the biggest week in South African golf, and it’s live on the Sunshine Tour.

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9th October 2022

Maiden win for Moolman in Fortress Invitational playoff

BENONI, Gauteng – Pieter Moolman claimed his maiden victory on the Sunshine Tour when he beat Jayden Schaper in a playoff to win the inaugural Fortress Invitational at Ebotse Links on Sunday.

Moolman started the final round three shots behind Schaper. As he reached the final hole in regulation play, he was three-under for his round, having mixed five birdies with two bogeys, and looked like falling just short on 12-under-par as Schaper was already on 14-under-par.

But the 31-year-old Moolman hit an excellent drive and a superb approach shot on the par-five 18th to 10 feet from the hole, and nailed the eagle putt to vault to 14-under.

Schaper then bogeyed the par-four 17th but made birdie at the last to force a playoff with an excellent up-and-down after short-siding himself.

Moolman again hit a brilliant second in the playoff, finishing just off the green after being in the semi-rough on a mound. He would chip and sink a four-foot putt for birdie, while Schaper was unfortunate that his approach shot took a hard first bounce and ran through the green. The 21-year-old then missed his 10-footer for birdie, handing Moolman the win.

“I’ve lost a few times in these situations, but I’ve played better golf a few times than I did today,” Moolman said. “So to get over the line is really special and it shows that it does not take a perfect performance to win. It’s more mental, about believing you can still put a score on the board if you’re playing average golf, when your swing is not really there. I just had to stay in the moment and commit to what I was doing, take it shot-for-shot.”

Schaper will look back on a level-par back nine, which featured bogeys at the par-three 11th and the penultimate hole, as having cost him, but he showed tremendous determination and character in birdieing the last hole to get into the playoff.

For Moolman, who like Schaper is based in Benoni and knows the Ebotse Links well, the win will give him great confidence heading into the big summer events. He has finished runner-up twice before this year, including at the Tour Championship at nearby Serengeti Estate.

“I’ve been playing solid golf for a while and I played solid enough the whole week, I was just trying to give myself opportunities, keep the ball in play and give myself a chance,” Moolman said.

“Finishing second at the Wild Coast a few weeks back, I made some mistakes down the back nine, but I learnt from that and how to stay strong. Now that I’ve won, you start believing you can win again and that you belong here. I’m looking forward to the summer events,” said Moolman, who will go down in Sunshine Tour history as the inaugural Fortress Invitational champion.

“Firstly, a huge congratulations to Pieter Moolman on his first win. The level of play has been brilliant. It’s been so impressive to watch the professionals shoot the low scores we have seen over the last three days on such a challenging course. Ebotse Links have been great hosts throughout the tournament and nothing has been too much trouble. We have thoroughly enjoyed our first year of sponsorship of the Fortress Invitational and helping to power growth in golf in South Africa,” said Steven Brown, CEO of Fortress Real Estate.

Although he finished fourth, two shots off the pace, Sean Bradley will remember the final round for a long time as he began with a double-bogey at the first hole, but then made a hole-in-one at the par-three eighth. He then rounded off his round with a massive eagle putt, from off the green, on the last hole, finishing with a 63 that put him right into contention.

American Dan Erickson claimed third place on 13-under, signing for a 67 after he could only make par on the last three holes.

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8th October 2022

It’s shaping up well for Schaper at Fortress Invitational

BENONI, Gauteng – Jayden Schaper enjoyed a three-shot lead, but Makhetha Mazibuko was building a strong challenge, when dangerous weather caused the second round of the Fortress Invitational at Ebotse Links to be suspended on Saturday afternoon.

Schaper, who was in a three-way tie for the lead after a first-round 65, separated himself on Saturday with another fine round, a five-under-par 67 lifting him to 12-under for the tournament, going into Sunday’s final round.

Two birdies and a bogey on the front nine saw Schaper reach the turn just one-under, but he blossomed on the back nine with four birdies to pull away from the field.

“I had a steady start, I was hitting the ball well and I just left a couple of putts in the jaws of the hole. But I just stayed patient and it was pretty much another solid all-round game. It was more difficult today, the wind was up and that makes the course a lot tougher,” Schaper said.

But Mazibuko is on nine-under-par, tied in second place with Richard Joubert (69), and he still has six holes to play when the second round resumes at 7am on Sunday.

The 34-year-old from Bloemfontein Golf Club is three-under for his round, all three birdies coming on the front nine.

Schaper will be chasing his first Sunshine Tour title on Sunday, with the final round being played to a two-tee, three-ball format. The 21-year-old enjoyed a prolific amateur career and it will be remembered that he was touted as South African golf’s next big thing when he finished second in the 2020 Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

“I guess there will be some added pressure, but I’ll be saying to myself that there is no difference between a Sunshine Tour event or an amateur tournament. It’s the same as any round of golf.

“Playing at my home course at Ebotse will also keep me calm because I know the course well. I’m looking forward to it, I’m going to enjoy it and if it’s my day then I’ll take it,” Schaper said.

The other first-round leaders went backwards on the second day, with Ockie Strydom shooting a level-par 72 and staying on seven-under, which is now in a tie for fifth, while Clinton Grobler is four-over-par through 12 holes, having double-bogeyed his last two holes to be nine shots off the pace.

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7th October 2022

Local knowledge helping Schaper at Fortress Invitational

BENONI, Gauteng – Jayden Schaper enjoyed an excellent day on his home course of Ebotse Links as all aspects of his game came through for him in a seven-under-par 65 that gave him a share of the lead with Clinton Grobler and Ockie Strydom after the first round of the Fortress Invitational on Friday.

The highly-promising Schaper began his round on the 10th hole with a birdie, and followed that up with consecutive gains on the 12th and 13th holes. A marvellous outgoing nine holes was capped by birdies at the par-three 15th and par-five 18th, seeing him go to the turn in just 31 strokes.

Schaper picked up three more birdies in four holes from the fourth, and even a bogey at the par-three eighth could not put a damper on a superb round of golf.

“Playing on my home course is a bit of an advantage because I know where certain pins are, where to miss and which bunkers to avoid,” Schaper said after his best round of the Sunshine Tour season so far.

“But you’ve still got to hit the ball well, hit the shots and make the putts. In the last couple of weeks, my tee-to-green play has been solid and I’ve been slowly getting better on the greens too.

“Today I just played really solid golf, I made good decisions and hit some really good shots. I was consistent today,” Schaper said.

The return of long-time coach Grant Veenstra from the United States may also have played a role in the impressive showing, with Schaper saying “it was the first week I’ve seen him in the last couple of months and it was really good to have him back to help out.”

Grobler, the 28-year-old Krugersdorp golfer, also started on the 10th and began the round with three straight birdies, while bogeying the 17th and fourth holes on the way to his 65. The highlight of his round was his eagle-three on the 18th.

The in-form Strydom, from the nearby Serengeti Estate, cruised through the front nine in four-under-par, but then the rollercoaster began: The 37-year-old bogeyed the par-four 10th, then grabbed a hat-trick of birdies from the 12th, dropped a shot at 17, but then finished spectacularly with an eagle on the last hole to vault into a share of the lead.

The leaderboard is congested, with five golfers shooting 66, including the veteran Hennie Otto, the American Dan Erickson, the amateur Kyle de Beer, as well as Makhetha Mazibuko and Richard Joubert.

Wynand Dingle, the winner of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series San Lameer event three weeks ago, is in the group on five-under-par.

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Sunshine Tour to ensure water is not a hazard

The Sunshine Tour is taking another major step towards environmental sustainability through a partnership with Bluewater that will significantly reduce the presence of single-use plastic water bottles at its tournaments, and with a long-term plan to become one of the first major tours worldwide to incorporate this throughout its entire schedule.

Bluewater is a world leader in clean water technology and solutions. The company already collaborates with The R&A to provide its free-standing outdoor and indoor hydration stations for The Open.

As the first step in its long-term sustainability plan, a Sunshine Tour Bluewater hydration station will be in use at this week’s new Fortress Invitational at the Ebotse Links, which tees off on Friday.

“As a golf tour we are in the business of working together with nature to ensure a successful product, and as such it’s imperative that we do this responsibly,” said Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour.

“To achieve this we are actively putting in place a full sustainability programme and seeking world-leading partners for this that will incorporate our entire schedule as well as on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. The first step in this process is a water sustainability programme that we can roll out to all our tournaments, beginning with the Fortress Invitational.”

The hydration stations will be open to all golfers and members of the public who simply need to bring their own reusable bottles to the golf course in an effort to not only protect the environment, but also their own health.

“Microplastics have been found in both bottled water and tap water as well as in the bodies of adults and babies. Bluewater water purifiers have been shown to remove microplastics from water, thereby reducing risk of human contamination,” says Janneke Brasecke, General Manager: Bluewater Africa.

 

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2nd October 2022

Rookie Burke relishes debut Dunhill Links experience

ST ANDREWS, Scotland – Sunshine Tour professional Christiaan Burke was at a loss for words to describe the feeling of walking up the 18th on the Old Course in the final round of his first DP World Tour event during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday.

“It was amazing. I actually can’t describe it. It was just an amazing feeling,” said Burke, who finished tied 48th on three under par in his debut in this tournament. New Zealand’s Ryan Fox took the title on 15 under par.

The Sunshine Tour rookie had two good rounds of 66 and 65 and then two 77s for his first taste of pure links golf at the highest level of the game.

“I finished fifth in the Sunshine Tour’s SunBet Challenge at the Wild Coast Sun before this, and that gave me quite a bit of confidence playing in the wind this week. I’m pleased with my overall performance. I’m very happy to have made the cut in my first DP World Tour event. I started well and then the second day was tough in the bad weather. The third round went well and then in the final round nothing went my way, but that’s golf.

“I love these golf courses. You just need to soak it all in. The history of the Old Course, the views at Kingsbarns and then Carnoustie where they’ve played The Open a couple of times – it’s just special.”

While not the finish he was hoping for, the experience has given him plenty of confidence as he now heads back to the Sunshine Tour and prepares for the big summer events.

“I’m feeling confident for the summer to come. I’m really keen for the next couple of tournaments on the Sunshine Tour.”

His first tournament back on the Sunshine Tour will be this week’s Fortress Invitational and Burke’s experience from this week will certainly make him one of the favourites.

The venue is none other than the Ebotse Links. – By Michael Vlismas

 

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Rookie Burke relishes debut Dunhill Links experience

Sunshine Tour professional Christiaan Burke was at a loss for words to describe the feeling of walking up the 18th on the Old Course in the final round of his first DP World Tour event during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday.

“It was amazing. I actually can’t describe it. It was just an amazing feeling,” said Burke, who finished tied 48th on three under par in his debut in this tournament. New Zealand’s Ryan Fox took the title on 15 under par.

The Sunshine Tour rookie had two good rounds of 66 and 65 and then two 77s for his first taste of pure links golf at the highest level of the game.

“I finished fifth in the Sunshine Tour’s SunBet Challenge at the Wild Coast Sun before this, and that gave me quite a bit of confidence playing in the wind this week. I’m pleased with my overall performance. I’m very happy to have made the cut in my first DP World Tour event. I started well and then the second day was tough in the bad weather. The third round went well and then in the final round nothing went my way, but that’s golf.

“I love these golf courses. You just need to soak it all in. The history of the Old Course, the views at Kingsbarns and then Carnoustie where they’ve played The Open a couple of times – it’s just special.”

While not the finish he was hoping for, the experience has given him plenty of confidence as he now heads back to the Sunshine Tour and prepares for the big summer events.

“I’m feeling confident for the summer to come. I’m really keen for the next couple of tournaments on the Sunshine Tour.”

His first tournament back on the Sunshine Tour will be this week’s Fortress Invitational and Burke’s experience from this week will certainly make him one of the favourites.

The venue is none other than the Ebotse Links. – Michael Vlismas

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1st October 2022

Korb wins Vodacom Origins in St Francis

Golf can be a terribly cruel game at times and while leader Ockie Strydom was busy racking up a quadruple-bogey eight at the par-four 11th hole, Ruan Korb was putting the finishing touches to his brilliant round of 63 by sinking yet another birdie putt on the final hole to win the Vodacom Origins of Golf St Francis Links tournament on Saturday.

Korb’s third successive birdie, to go with two-in-a-row on the 12th and 13thholes, saw him shoot an astonishing nine-under-par in the final round, leaving him on 13-under-par for the tournament.

Strydom had been on 15-under before the awful shock of his eight on the 11th, and thereafter he could only par his way through to the close, settling for a level-par 72 after being four-under at the turn. That left the 37-year-old in second place on 11-under, two behind Korb.

Veteran Doug McGuigan also challenged for the title, but bogeyed the last two holes when pushing for birdies to tie Korb, with the 52-year-old closing with a 71 that left him on nine-under and in third place for the tournament.

The 28-year-old Korb admitted that it was just one of those idyllic days when every putt he looked at, he seemed to sink.

“I really enjoyed myself out there today, the weather was better and my putting was definitely the main reason for my win, every putt just seemed to find the bottom of the cup,” Korb said.

“My putting was certainly much better than when I finished second in the SunBet Challenge Time Square in August.”

The Silver Lakes golfer, who had begun the final round seven shots off the pace, had picked up decent momentum on the front nine with three birdies and a bogey in his first four holes, but he really began pushing for the title with a brilliant run that saw him eagle the par-five sixth and then pick up shots at the next two holes.

He was now 10-under for the tournament and in striking distance, but his charge was reversed as he had a 15-minute delay at the ninth tee while the group in front searched for balls. Korb lost concentration and bogeyed both nine and 10.

“I said before the round that if I could get to 14-under then I would have a chance, but waiting on the ninth was a bit of a momentum-breaker,” Korb said.

“But after those two bogeys I just tried to get calm and said to my caddie that we have to do something now otherwise the win is going to get away from us.”

Knowing he had to be positive, Korb birdied both the par-four 12th and the par-five 13th into the westerly wind, and then, with holes 16 and 17 heading in the opposite direction, he took advantage with two more birdies.

The three on the par-four 18th was the icing on the cake for his second Sunshine Tour victory, his first coming at the Time Square Casino Challenge at Wingate Park Country Club in 2020.

“It’s a big confidence-booster to win at this time of year, with the big summer events coming up,” Korb said.

SCORES:

203 – Ruan Korb 71 69 63

205 – Ockie Strydom 66 67 72

207 – Doug McGuigan 69 67 71

208 – Hennie O’Kennedy 69 68 71

209 – Dylan Naidoo 67 67 75

210 – Bradley Bawden 72 68 70, Jayden Schaper 72 67 71, Brooklin Bailey 67 72 71, Heinrich Bruiners 65 74 71, Keenan Davidse 70 67 73

212 – Dan Erickson 69 72 71, Christiaan Basson 73 68 71, Jaco Prinsloo 67 72 73

213 – Luca Filippi 71 75 67, Wynand Dingle 72 73 68, Adam Breen 70 73 70, Hennie Otto 70 70 73, Riekus Nortje 72 67 74

214 – Jacques P de Villiers 72 73 69, Estiaan Conradie 71 71 72, MJ Viljoen 73 69 72, Herman Loubser 75 67 72

215 – James Kamte 71 69 75, Peter Karmis 69 70 76

216 – Therion Nel 72 74 70

217 – Lyle Rowe 69 77 71, Pieter Moolman 70 74 73, Kyle Barker 73 71 73, Matthew Spacey 70 72 75, Steve Surry 69 73 75, Dean O’Riley 69 70 78

218 – Rupert Kaminski 76 70 72, Jean Hugo 70 75 73

219 – Madalitso Muthiya 70 76 73, Jacques Blaauw 75 70 74, Luke Jerling 69 70 80, Jake Redman 70 69 80

220 – Wallie Coetsee 72 73 75, Sean Cronje 74 71 75, Callum Mowat 75 69 76

221 – Michael Kok 76 70 75, Richard Joubert 78 68 75, Kevin Rhoderick 70 71 80

223 – Maverick Faber 76 69 78

224 – Aneurin Gounden 72 74 78, Sean Bradley 71 74 79, Nikhil Rama 70 73 81

225 – Danie Van Niekerk 71 75 79

227 – Clancy Waugh 74 72 81

 

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30th September 2022

Steady Strydom leading Vodacom Origins

CAPE ST FRANCIS, Eastern Cape – Ockie Strydom woke up on Friday morning and thought it was going to be a wet and miserable at the St Francis Links, but it ended up being a happy day for the 37-year-old as he was sitting high, and dry, at the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series event there.

Strydom shot a five-under-par 67 on Friday to go to 11-under for the tournament, leading Dylan Naidoo, who also shot a 67, by one stroke.

“When I woke up this morning, I thought it was going to be a very wet day and driving to the course, I kept wondering if I should turn back and get my rain shoes,” Strydom said.

“In the end I didn’t drive back and it was as wet as it can be when we started the round. But it actually turned into a lovely day in the end. It was overcast, but the wind largely stayed away, until it came up a bit again with five holes to go on the back nine.”

Strydom, who began the day one stroke off the lead, made a quiet start to his round with just a single birdie on the front nine, coming at the par-five third hole.

It was actually a bogey – his only one of the day – at the par-four 11th that gave birth to an astonishing run of five successive birdies from the 12th that gave the Serengeti Golf Estate golfer the lead.

“I made sure I played good golf into the wind, but on the first nine I kept hitting all my putts short. Then on 11 I had a 15-foot birdie putt and I told my caddie there’s no way I’m leaving it short. So I hit it eight foot past and then missed the putt coming back,” Strydom explained.

“So I had a harsh little chat with myself walking to the next tee, I thought I must get something going now, take advantage of being downwind and give myself a cushion for the last hole when you’re back into the wind.”

Apart from Naidoo, the other golfers chasing Strydom on the final day will be Doug McGuigan (67) on eight-under-par and Hennie O’Kennedy (68) and Keenan Davidse (67) on seven-under.

Strydom has been leading many times before and he knows what he has to do.

“I’m just going to do the same as I’m doing at the moment. Try keep the ball in play and hit the greens. If I can make five putts, be five-under tomorrow then I’ll be in with a good shout. I must just be patient,” Strydom said.