Alpheus takes charge at Vusi

Alpheus Kelapile took charge of the 50-man field at Observatory Golf Club when he shot 68 on Thursday and took a one-stroke lead ahead of the final round of Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School.

“My aim is to win this. I put a lot of time into my game throughout the year – exercising, eating properly and practicing – preparing myself for next season,” he said.

It was a strange coincidence that his playing partners – Thabo Maseko and Rocky Tlhabanyane – finished one stroke back and in a share of second, ensuring that the trio will tee off together in the final round on Friday.

Kelapile’s dedication paid off on Friday and he said: “I was hitting the ball nicely, my game is on form and I played well today. The greens are running smooth and are quite fast, so today I made a lot of putts.”

He pulled clear with a string of four birdies on the back stretch. “The round kicked off at the 13th – I never looked back – I told myself that there were more birdies to come and the putts just kept dropping,” he said.

His front stretch was not shabby either: by the time he turned at two-under he had already overcome a bogey at the 1st by carding birdies at the 5th, 7th and 9th.

His back stretch began and ended with bogeys, which came at the 12th and 18th, but the drops were easily outweighed by his four-birdie spree.

Rocky Tlhabanyane announced his intention to succeed when he shot 67 and moved to seven-under. He joined amateur Thabo Maseko, who shot 68, in a share of second as the final 18 loomed.

Kelapile spent the year preparing to take on the 2012 Sunshine Tour season, and his readiness showed when he took charge of the competition on Thursday.

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