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4th March 2022

Moolman makes his Mangaung Open move

BLOEMFONTEIN – Pieter Moolman put the weather disruptions behind him and forged a clear path to the top of the Mangaung Open leaderboard on Friday as he claimed a one-stroke clubhouse lead going into the weekend of this Sunshine Tour and Challenge Tour co-sanctioned tournament.

After Thursday’s suspensions, the weather again delayed the resumption of the first round on Friday morning. When it was finally completed there was no change to the top of the leaderboard, with South Africa’s Luke Jerling still in a three-way tie for the lead with the Spanish duo of Alejandro Del Rey and Scott Fernandez on nine under par.

The delayed second round then teed off, and Moolman produced a solid bogey-free 66 at Schoeman Park Golf Club to take the lead on 13 under par and set the clubhouse target for the remainder of the field, who will have to complete their second rounds on Saturday morning.

Jerling and Del Rey, playing Schoeman Park Golf Club, had moved to 10 under through three holes of their second rounds when play ended for the day.

Moolman is currently one stroke clear of Lars van Meijel of The Netherlands, who signed for a 66 of his own at neighbouring Bloemfontein Golf Cub. The two courses share the first two rounds of this event, with the final two rounds played solely at Bloemfontein Golf Club.

It was a marathon day for Moolman on Friday as he finished off his first round of seven under and then went into the second round.

“I’m pretty tired. I played 28 holes today. I’ve been at the golf course for 13 hours so it’s not like a usual tournament,” he said.

“The only way you can deal with it is you just have to stick to your routine. It drains you a bit physically and mentally, but you just have to stay in the moment and I did that well.”

While happy with his result, Moolman said he’s still not quite where he wants to be in terms of his swing.

“I’m not really hitting the ball very well. I scrambled well and the putter was working, so that kept the momentum going.

“I feel like my form has been showing good signs for a while. But the last couple of weeks my swing hasn’t been where I would want it to be. I’m using the opportunities I’m getting, but I feel like I could have more out there.”

And yet he’s still top of the leaderboard and chasing a maiden Sunshine Tour and Challenge Tour title.

“That’s a big goal. If you win on the Challenge Tour you gain a Challenge Tour card, so that’s a big step in your career. It opens up a lot of doors.” – Michael Vlismas