JOHANNESBURG, GautengÂ (22 October) â€“ â€œThis is a very demanding course and you have to know where to miss,â€ Anton Haig said on Friday after he seized a share of the lead midway through the Blair Atholl Championship delivered by The Courier Guy.
This knowledge came in very handy for the 35-year-old golfer as he fired a three-under-par 69 to catch joint first-round leader Rupert Kaminski on seven-under-par.
â€œItâ€™s a very demanding course, the fairways look quite wide but theyâ€™re not and the course is so long. You need to miss in the right spots and fortunately Iâ€™ve played a lot here so I know which side not to miss on. I know the back ledges and slopes better than most, which definitely helped,â€ Haig said after his impressive round.
Haig said his play from tee-to-green on Friday was excellent, but his putter, which was hot in the first round, went cold in the second round. He will try to get both aspects of his game working well on the weekend as he chases what would be a confidence boosting win on the Sunshine Tour.
â€œThe greens were really receptive after the rain came in in the morning â€“ fortunately for just three or four holes â€“ and I was hitting the ball really well. I had 32 putts today and 26 yesterday. So my ball-striking was really good today but my putting was a bit off.
â€œIâ€™m definitely looking to score on the par fives, but you have to really knuckle two shots to get on to some of them – four of the par fives are more than 600 yards. So my length is a good advantage,â€ Haig said.
Kaminski, off in the afternoon in a fresh wind, shot a one-under-par 71 on Friday to go to seven-under for the tournament, while Riekus Nortje, who shared the lead with him after the first round, dropped two shots coming in to finish with a level-par 72.
That left Nortje tied for third with three other golfers â€“ Heinrich Bruiners (71), Neil Schietekat, whose 68 included a double-bogey at the tough par-four 15th, and Luke Brown (69).
Jayden Schaper produced the round of the day, a tremendous 65 which included an eagle three on the 606-yard fifth hole, to climb to five-under-par, sharing seventh with Kyle Barker (71).