Graham van der Merwe completed a round of golf on Saturday morning that may set him up for the rest of the season as he carded a six-under-par 66 for the second round of the Tshwane Open.
The €1.5-million tournament co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour being played at The Els Club Copperleaf was delayed by a thunderstorm on Friday afternoon, and Van der Merwe was amongst the players who had to complete their rounds early on Saturday morning.
Van der Merwe, who had to qualify to get into the tournament, made three birdies in his final six holes to move to eight-under-par for the tournament, four off the pace-setting Charl Coetzee who is on 12-under.
“This whole week’s been one bundle of nerves,” said Van der Merwe, who had to endure a weather delay in a play-off between six players for three places in the main tournament. “Going through that play-off, I was nervous, and then today, coming back in the morning and I knew what I had to do to make the cut so I was a bit shaky.
“It’s just a big relief to get through to the weekend, especially being in my position on the Order of Merit,” he added. The 22-year-old has yet to win any money in the 2013 season on the Sunshine Tour, and a top-20 finish in the Tshwane Open will bring in over R200,000.
“This round is a big weight off my shoulders,” he said. “I knew coming in to this morning that a good performance here could make a big difference to this year – and next year. Those last six holes could be the biggest six holes of my life so far, so I was happy to pull it off.”