BELA-BELA (Limpopo) – JJ Senekal held on to his place at the top of the SDC Open leaderboard as he weathered a cold putter, intermittent rain and a few surges from his fellow professionals to place him two shots clear of the field going into Sunday’s final round at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa.
Senekal signed for a third round of 69 to lead on 18 under par. His nearest challenger is Casey Jarvis on 16 under following his round of 66. Jaco Prinsloo and Martin Vorster are both three shots off the lead after their rounds of 66 and 68 respectively.
At 14:00, play was stopped for a minute’s silence in remembrance of former DP World Tour Chief Referee, John Paramo, who passed away last Friday at the age of 67.
Senekal has led from day one of this tournament and been remarkably composed despite the frustration of not always having his best putting game with him.
“It wasn’t the best round of golf I’ve ever played. From tee to green it was pretty good, but 32 putts was frustrating. I hit good putts here and there but the reading wasn’t very good. I gave myself a lot of opportunities but the putter just wasn’t working,” he said after a round of four birdies and one bogey.
“I was expecting people to charge and they did. Casey had a good round. But I managed to keep myself in it and I’ve got a shot tomorrow.”
Jarvis produced another strong charge to be in contention once again this season. After his eagle on the 15th he didn’t get the finish he wanted as he bogeyed two of his final three holes when the rain suddenly came down again.
“I played really solid the whole day and I rolled in a lot of putts. The way I’m striking the ball I feel really in control of my game at the moment. I’ve been in this position before so hopefully I’ve learnt from the past. I’ve just got to stay patient. In the past I’ve been a little rushed, but I’ve just got to stay patient out there,” he said as he looks forward to a possible maiden victory on the Sunshine Tour.
Patience will certainly be the theme for the final group, with the more experienced Senekal taking the same approach.
“You just have to stay in the moment. If you’re not nervous you’re not ready. There is obviously pressure but you have to keep it under control and not get ahead of yourself. I’m very excited to be in the final group again and I have a shot at the title. That’s always exciting.” – Michael Vlismas