Catching Adilson Da Silva proved to be a fruitless exercise in the second round of the R600,000 Sun City Challenge on Thursday, but Attie Schwartzel was one player who made a valiant attempt.
Schwartzel carded a one-over-par 73, but, on a day when no-one was able to get to grips properly with the Lost City Golf Course, that was enough to leave him at four-under-par for the tournament, three behind Da Silva heading into the final round of the 54-hole tournament.
“The pins were tucked away in difficult positions for me,” said Schwartzel. “A lot of them were on the left of the greens, and I’ve got a fade, so it was difficult to get to them. I was hitting 30-footers all day.”
Schwartzel is fresh off his maiden professional victory after he won on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour at Houghton last week, and he was pleased with his efforts at keeping himself in the race despite the difficulties he had in scoring.
Not that he was alone. Only three players broke 70: Lindani Ndwandwe closed with two birdies in the last three holes for his four-under-par 68 and a share of sixth behind Da Silva, while Andrew Curlewis and Mark Murless each carded three-under-par 69 and were in a group of four players on two-under for the tournament, five shots adrift of the lead.
Schwartzel was in a group of three in a share of third – the other two players were overnight leader Jake Roos and Ryan Tipping.
They had Vaughn Groenewald between them and Da Silva. Groenewald was one of the few players under par for the day with his 71, and he was two off Da Silva’s pace.
If the course offers as much of a challenge in the final round, it’s going to be tough to catch Da Silva. Schwartzel is one player who has not given up hope. “If I can just play as well as I did in the first round, I’ve got a chance,” he said.