GEORGE (Western Cape) – South Africa’s Luke Jerling put in a hard session on the range on the eve of this week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt and it has paid off as he heads into the weekend tied for the lead in this Sunshine Tour and European Challenge Tour co-sanctioned tournament.
Jerling signed for a 68 on The Links on Friday to move to the top of the leaderboard on 12 under par overall. Over on the Montagu golf course, Sweden’s Adam Blomme carded a 67 to also end the day on 12 under. They are two strokes clear of South Africans Oliver Bekker and Adam Breen. Bekker carded a 68 on the Montagu while Breen added a 68 on The Links. The tournament rotates between Fancourt’s three golf courses of The Links, Montagu and Outeniqua.
After missing the cut in last week’s Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open, Jerling did some soul-searching on the range at Fancourt on Wednesday and said something in his game clicked right there.
“I was on the range until late trying to figure out what went wrong the previous week. I had a chat with my coach as well, and I went into Thursday’s first round feeling good and I’m just riding the wave. It’s great to be at the top of the leaderboard,” he said.
Even the two bogeys he made early on the back nine didn’t trouble him as he responded with five birdies on that nine – three of them in his last four holes.
“I hit it well off the tee and my iron play was good. I’ve found something in my putting this week, so with good iron play I’ve been giving myself chances and not putting myself under any pressure. The two bogeys I made on the back nine were just because I took a few gambles off the tee and hit it into fairway bunkers. But I bounced back nicely and recovered with birdies thereafter to keep the momentum going.”
Jerling knows better than anybody that a good day on The Links is not to be taken lightly.
“I’m very pleased. The weather was great but The Links is always still a tough test. The greens were running fast and it’s always a tricky course. I’ve seen the good and the bad of The Links and you can never be disappointed with a 68 on this course.”
Over on the Montagu course, Swede Blomme was equally pleased with his performance considering he hasn’t played too much competitive golf while recovering from injury.
“I’ve been really good off the tee this week and that’s been the difference for me. It’s been nice not to have to chip out all the time and actually have the ball in play. There were also a lot of opportunities if you just went for the middle of the green because the pins were tucked away. But this place is unbelievable. I love the golf courses here. I’m in a good space,” he said. – Michael Vlismas