CENTURION, Gauteng – Pieter Moolman continued his good form of the past few weeks and claimed a share of a four-way tie for the lead through 36 holes of the Mediclinic Invitational at Centurion Country Club on Thursday.
Moolman signed for a 64 to join Ruan Korb (63), James Mack (64) and Ryan van Velzen (64) on 14 under par. The quartet are one stroke clear of George Coetzee, with a group of five players further back on 11 under par including first-round leader Jake Redman and Dylan Naidoo.
Moolman’s consistency over the past few weeks has seen him finish 14th, ninth, third and 28th in his last four tournaments. It’s been the kind of consistency that has lifted him into eighth place on the European Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca Rankings, and which has suggested he isn’t too far from adding to his Fortress Invitational victory on the Sunshine Tour last year.
Moolman’s 64 on Thursday was also a perfect case of the vagaries of golf where his exceptional putting helped when his ball-striking was not what he would’ve liked it to be.
“I don’t feel like I’m hitting the ball as well as I’d like to, but I’m making more putts and that’s helping a lot. In this game, I believe if you are making all of your putts inside 10 feet and are just an average ball striker, you are capable of being in the top 30 in the world,” he said.
The consistency of his past performances is also not lost on Moolman.
“I think that’s all you want as a professional golfer, is to just have a chance. You just want to have that chance to be in contention and to win a tournament. I feel like I’ve been playing really well and my game is good enough that when the putts drop I can win. That’s all I’m trying to do – is to give myself a chance to win every week I play. If I can combine how I putted today and how I struck the ball at a tournament a few weeks ago, I’ll shoot great scores.”
Moolman says he foresees the low scoring to continue over the final two rounds.
“I find the golf course quite scoreable. If you look at the whole field the scoring is really good.” – Michael Vlismas