Andrew Curlewis showed just how important putting is at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club as he raced to a seven-under-par 63 on Wednesday to take the early second round lead of the R600,000 Wild Waves Golf Challenge.
He took just 26 strokes on the greens as he opened up a four-stroke lead over first-round leader Oliver Bekker, and JJ Senekal had a bogey-free 65 on the par-70 course as he jumped to seven-under with Bekker.
“I’m making putts when I have to,” said Curlewis, who’s statistics were in stark contrast to Bekker’s putting numbers – he had 35 putts in his one-under 69, and was very annoyed indeed.
“Around this course, if you can make the putts, you’re going to have a good score,” said Curlewis. “I had 30 putts in my first round, so I hope I carry on rolling them in.”
Behind Bekker and Senekal, Botswana’s Stuart Smith carded his second successive three-under 67 to reach six-under for the tournament. He was joined there by Lyle Rowe who duplicated Smith’s pair of 67s, and Adilson Da Silva, who chipped in for eagle on 12 on his way to a 68.
Curlewis has been quietly compiling an impressive 2013 on the Sunshine Tour: He has four top-10s to his credit, the latest being a share of second at last week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Langebaan in the Western Cape.
“I’ve been playing nicely over the last three or four weeks,” he said. “Second last week was a big boost for this week. I’m going to carry on doing what I have been and hope that it’s good enough.”
He won his only tournament on the Sunshine Tour back in 2007, and with his performances in 2013, he has climbed to 27th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit – his highest ever position – and won more money (more than R530,000) in just 14 tournaments so far than he has in any year since he turned professional in 2004.
He’s made just one bogey in 36 holes so far – on the 16th in his first round – and he seems to be coping comfortably with both course and conditions.
It helps that he’s local: He lives in Margate, just 33 kilometres from the Wild Coast Sun, and he knows the course well. “I get lots of people walking around supporting me which gives me an extra edge,” he said, “and I play here often with my mates, so it feels like home.”