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14th April 2023

Filippi and Erickson go low to lead at Dainfern

DAINFERN, Johannesburg – The low scoring continued in the second round of the Stella Artois Players Championship at Dainfern Country Club on Friday as South Africa’s Luca Filippi posted his first 29 over nine holes in a tournament for a 64 and American Dan Erickson signed for a 62 to see them share the lead on 16 under par going into the weekend.

They are two strokes clear of Darren Fichardt, Lyle Rowe, Tristen Strydom, Luke Jerling and Jovan Rebula after 36 holes in which the halfway cut fell at five under par.

Erickson carded two eagles during his round, while Filippi turned one under for the round and then lit up his second nine.

“It was just a magical nine. I had a six-metre putt on the last hole to break 30 and it was an unreal feeling to get that first 29 in a tournament,” said Filippi, who has been showing signs of this kind of performance.

“I’ve been playing some great golf recently and come close so many times now, so I’m really looking forward to what unfolds on the weekend. I’ve been getting more comfortable in high pressure situations and understanding what your body does under pressure. I’ve been working hard with a psychologist and we talk a lot about staying in the moment, and that’s been a real switch for me. It’s just about feeling comfortable and knowing what kind of shot shape I hit under the gun.”

Filippi identified the par fives as the key to scoring at Dainfern, and co-leader Erickson felt exactly the same.

“They’re lighting it up out here. It’s crazy how low the scores have been. I don’t find that the golf course is really set up that easy. I think it’s just the fact that the par fives are reachable, so you can really take advantage of those. I had eagle looks on all the par fives today and made two of them.”

Much like Filippi, Erickson is also doing his best to stay in the present on a golf course where it can feel like you are losing ground if you’re not making a handful of birdies.

“That’s where I can go wrong on golf courses like this where the scores are really low. I try to force birdies, and it would be better for me to just try to stay patient and let the birdies come. Patience and just sticking to the gameplan will be the biggest key for me for the weekend. I’ve done a good job of not feeling like I had to shoot a low score the past few days.” – Michael Vlismas