Ahlers goes low to lead Platinum Classic

Jaco Ahlers chipped in for eagle on the 14th at Mooinooi Golf Club on Friday to help him to a one-stroke lead in early round two action in the R500,000 Platinum Classic presented by UD Trucks.

He carded an eight-under-par 64 to go with his opening 65 to move to 15-under-par for the tournament and a one-shot edge over first-round leader Merrick Bremner, who carded a 66.

But those rounds weren’t even the best of the morning, as Hennie Otto signed for a nine-under-par 63 as he climbed the leaderboard into third place, three behind Ahlers.

Ahlers started well, with a birdie on the opening hole, and then another two as he reached the sixth in three-under. But he dropped a shot on seven, before making two birdies in a rown on eight and nine to turn in 32.

“I played well on the back nine,” he said, “But my putts just didn’t seem to want to drop until my luck turned at the 14th when I chipped in from nowhere, really.”

He took advantage of the momentum swing to make birdies on 16 and 17 as he came home in four-under 32. “I actually made a great up and down from the bunker to save par on 18, too,” said Ahlers.

The chip-in helped his putting statistics, which, even with that eagle, were pretty impressive. “I had 24 putts for the round, and that always helps you get into a good position,” he said.

“I wasn’t hitting the ball as well as I was yesterday,” he added. “I only hit five fairways as my driver was going a bit astray, but scrambling and putting – that’s always the key.”

Bremner made bogey on 15 – “I three-putted from 15 feet,” he said – but with seven birdies on his card, he was always going to be in contention after he opened with his eight-under in the first round.

Behind Otto in a share of fourth after the morning field had completed their rounds were Lindani Ndwandwe, Jean Hugo and Neil Cheetham on nine-under-par for the tournament.

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