WHITE RIVER (31 August 2023) – Kyle de Beer produced another fabulous bogey-free round on the second day of the Gary & Vivienne Player Challenge at White River Country Club on Thursday, and said he was only going to focus on taking on the golf course shot-for-shot as he goes into Friday’s final round with a two-shot lead.
Playing in only his third Sunshine Tour event but his first as a professional, De Beer fired a six-under-par 65 in Thursday’s second round to climb to 14-under-par for the tournament, stretching his lead after his terrific 63 on the first day.
The most impressive feature of his round was that he birdied three of the par-threes, showing that his iron play was once again impressive.
“I definitely followed up yesterday’s solid round which was really nice. I was a bit more scratchy off the tee today, so I had to work harder with my approach play, but my irons got me out of trouble and I hit some really good shots,” De Beer said on Thursday.
“It feels really good to be bogey-free through 36 holes. I’m very chuffed with that and hopefully I can keep the same going in the final round. I nearly messed it up though on the 18th, but I saved my par with a very nice putt.
“I’ve been in these positions before as an amateur, but I know there will be more pressure and nerves on Friday. I know when I’ve focused on the win and playing against others then I’ve usually come unstuck. I’m going to only focus on playing shot-for-shot and taking on the golf course.
“I know what I need to focus on. I’m going to stick to my guns and back myself. It’s going to be a long day, but I’m ready for it,” the former SA Amateur champion said.
The 25-year-old De Beer’s dreams of a first professional title will face a serious challenge, however, from Dylan Naidoo, another emerging talent who has already won on tour having triumphed in the SunBet Challenge Sibaya event last October.
Naidoo backed up his 66 in the first round with a 64 on Thursday, taking him to 12-under-par overall. Naidoo’s remarkable round included eagles on the par-five seventh and 16th holes, and he also went bogey-free.
In-form 23-year-old Gerhard Pepler posted a 66 on Thursday to move to 10-under-par, and his card was also without blemish.
Hennie Otto (69) and Luke Brown (65) share fourth place on nine-under.