For a little while on Thursday, his patience seemed to be deserting him, but KwaZulu-Natal’s Bryce Bibby was still the leading amateur midway through the third round of the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School.
He carded a level-par 72 in the third round, to go with his matching three-under-par 69s in the opening two rounds.
He is one of 236 players who have to play two rounds on each of the Bloemfontein Golf Club and Schoeman Park courses ahead of the cut to 60 players and those tying on that score. After a final round at Bloemfontein Golf Club, the top 30 players and ties will get their Sunshine Tour cards.
But his third round could have been better: He made three birdies in a row from the 10th to the 12th at Schoeman Park to move to three-under for his round, but a finishing stretch of three bogeys and three pars saw him finish level.
“Patience, that’s what the pro game seems to be all about to me,” he said. “I got a bit impatient in my last few holes today, and I think that’s what was happening to me. I made some mistakes with club selection.”
Bibby, who plays out of Royal Durban Golf Club, won the KwaZulu-Natal Closed Championship last year with scores of 70, 68, 69 and 74 on the par-71 Victoria Country Club, and that led to his debut for KwaZulu-Natal in September’s Inter-Provincial Tournament.
And in the heat of the Free State, he has been keeping his cool, analysing his performances on each of the two courses carefully: “I think Schoeman Park is the less forgiving of the two courses,” he said.
“I was a bit wayward on a couple of tees today, and I was dead behind trees just off the fairways. I think Bloemfontein lets you get away with those kinds of shots, and I think that the par-fours on Bloemfontein offer up a few more birdie opportunities,” he added.
As the cut looms, and the final round during which the players who will be eligible to play on the 2014 Sunshine Tour are sorted out, he’s going to have to keep calm. “I will not let things get to me now,” he said.
“I have to just keep doing what I have been doing. I’m not going to change anything – not going to go for it in the final round if I make the cut. I definitely want to turn pro now.”