Abery on top at Lost City

Warren Abery took control from the start of round two at the Nedbank Affinity Cup and shot 65 to take the early lead at Lost City Golf Club on Wednesday.

“Yesterday I was timing it badly, just rushing it, but this morning I took it slower and got my rhythm back – I missed two fairways and not many greens,” said Abery.

Abery, who shot 70 for the first round, closed the second day at nine-under-par, three strokes clear of Jake Roos ahead of a cut to 40 and ties. “I’ve always loved Lost City, I shot my lowest score on tour here, so I think it’s there for me to make low scores,” he said.

A six-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, Abery started on the back stretch and blasted through his first nine in 31 strokes to turn at seven-under-par, two strokes clear of the field.

A bogey straight after the turn proved to be the only blemish of his round, and the 38-year-old went on to make birdie at the fourth, sixth and seventh before signing for 65.

“We’ve got some big tournaments coming, and I’ve got European Tour School coming up in Spain,” he said. “My goal for this week was just to get my rhythm and ball-striking on form.”

The R600,000 event was not played in 2010, but two years ago Abery finished tied fourth at 10-under-par, two strokes back from then-winner Jake Roos.

In 2009 a second-round 74 punctured Abery’s victory chances, but he was not worried by the past. “I don’t really look into too much of the history, I just want to get better each day,” he said.

Defending champion Roos began the day in a share of the lead. He added a second-round 71 to his tally and closed the day three strokes back from the top of the leaderboard.

At six-under-par, Roos took an early hold of second, one shot clear of Prinavin Nelson and Martin Maritz.

Nelson carded four birdies and one bogey on the front stretch to turn at five-under for the tournament. He bogeyed the 13th and 17th, but birdies at the 11th and 18th secured his early hold on third.

Maritz made no bogeys during his second round. Birdies at the first, fifth, eighth and 18th would take the 1,98-metre player to five-under and shared third.

Abery was calm and confident ahead of the final round on Thursday. “We’ve had perfect conditions, which suits me. The greens are good and I’m putting well, so I’m just going to try to make greens in regulation and let the ball roll,” he said.

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