MOOKGOPHONG, Limpopo – In a Limpopo Championship week of weather suspensions, a waterlogged golf course, a tournament reduced to 54 holes, and three days to play two rounds of golf, Neil Schietekat has actually felt more in control of his game than before.
When darkness fell on Saturday with the second round of this tournament still to be completed, Schietekat was already safely in the clubhouse in the lead with a 36-hole total of nine under par.
After Thursday’s weather suspension then no play on Friday because of heavy rain and a waterlogged golf course, Saturday finally saw the completion of the first round. Schietekat finished off his first round in a share of the lead alongside Jaco Prinsloo and Jacques Blaauw with a six-under-par 66.
The second started thereafter and Schietekat earned himself the sole clubhouse lead on nine under with a round of 69. The second round couldn’t be completed before darkness and will resume on Sunday morning before the shotgun start of the third and final round.
“The stop-start is a bit irritating but there is nothing you can do about it,” said Schietekat. But he’s managed it superbly and is bogey free after two rounds. That alone has given him the satisfaction of knowing that what he’s been working on is now starting to pay off.
“I started off the year really badly. I was missing cuts on the Sunshine Tour and in Asia, and I’m not used to missing cuts. I was in a dark hole and I needed to step back and re-evaluate what I’m doing. I really needed to make a couple of changes,” he said.
“I changed coaches and I started seeing a sports psychologist, and it feels really good. I started seeing some results during the recent DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournaments in South Africa and I feel like I know what I’m doing now again.”
Behind him, Hennie du Plessis is once again well placed just one shot back following rounds of 67 and 69. Du Plessis has twice finished runner-up in this tournament.
Christiaan Burke and Ryan van Velzen also managed to finish their second rounds to join Du Plessis on eight under overall.
Jaco Prinsloo is currently six under for the tournament through seven holes of his second round. – Michael Vlismas