Aguilar in Joburg contention after triathlon

2016 Joburg Open: Day 2It seems a little unorthodox, but judging by Felipe Aguilar’s 11-under-par total at the halfway mark of the Joburg Open, competing in a triathlon last week seems to have paid off.

The Chilean player carded a six-under-par 66 on the West Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club to move into a share of second, three shots behind early leader Ross McGowan of England. The players will all have played a round on each of the East and West courses, ahead of the cut and the final two rounds on the East Course.

When he was asked if felt that he was playing consistently after rounds of five-under and six-under, he said, “No I wasn’t. It’s very simple, I was doing an iron-man last week, so this week was going to be a very easy week and I didn’t know what was going to happen and it actually worked about pretty good. I feel pretty good, I feel very comfortable, very healthy, which is the only thing I was hoping for this week.”

Now let’s be clear on what an iron-man triathlon entails: It’s a one-day endurance event consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86-kilometre) swim, a 112-mile (180.25km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.2km) run, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.

Clearly, coming back from a physical ordeal like that couldn’t have been easy. “Well that was the issue,” he said, “but speaking to my doctors I had to take some measures as soon as I finished, like an IV straight into the veins, trying to hydrate again, a pool of ice, thing like that and a lot of water, relax, massage after 48 hours. I had to do everything the way they wanted actually and it worked out pretty good.

“Even though I had that race last week I was practicing pretty much every day last week also, early in the morning and I was doing the iron-man training in the afternoon, but it was awesome. I think every single time that you do something that you really want to do with happiness, I mean it works out pretty good.”

Good enough for a bogey-free round with six birdies and a shot at contending for the title over the weekend. And it will not be quite as strenuous. “Golf is a lot easier health wise than the triathlon,” he said. “That was something really extreme for me, it was an amazing experience, but it takes a little bit too much time from golf, so I’ll put that aside and I’m going to wait a couple more years until I do another one.”


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