Allister de Kock decided to quit his job and chase his dream of becoming a professional golfer, and on Wednesday he realized the first part of that goal when he shot 65 to share the lead at Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School.
De KockÂs six-under-par tournament score drew him level Michael Dreyer, ahead of a cut of the top 50 and ties as players battled for 10 Sunshine Tour cards available at Observatory Golf Club this week.
ÂI started playing when I was 13, but didnÂt take the game seriously until this year. I quit my job this year and decided to give golf a chance, and right now things are going really well!Â said de Kock.
The Uitenhage Golf Club representative blazed around the par-35 back stretch in 29 strokes, adding an eagle at the 14th to his fireworks display. ÂThat eagle: I hit driver just left of the fairway and then took a seven-iron to six foot from the pin. When the putt dropped it was an unbelievable feeling,Â he said.
ÂI donÂt know what to say,Â He added, ÂI would have been happy to go out and shoot level par, but then things today just kept going right Â it was a dream come true.Â
De Kock opened the day with a sleepy seven pars, made birdie at the 8th and turned at one-under.
But the 28-year-old had a dream to catch and went deep immediately after the turn by carding birdies from 11 to 13. He followed that hattrick of birdies with an eagle at 14 and closed out the round with a final birdie at 17.
His card of seven-under-par 65 was a massive four strokes better than the next best round carded this week and easily outshined his first-round 73.
ÂThe putter was working today, so I decided to just go for the flag. I told myself to go out there and be calm and after that everything just clicked Â it felt like I boxed every putt,Â he said.
Michael Dreyer shot his second consecutive 69 to hold his share of the lead. ÂIt was a good day and I held it together well. I gave myself a lot of chances today, and my putter was on form,Â he said.
Two strokes back were Irvin Mazibuko and Alpheus Kelapile, who shared third at four-under-par.
De Kock was elated with his round and, upon reflection, felt he could go low again. ÂI suppose I have nothing to lose, and thatÂs helping me to just play the game,Â he said.