James Kamte is always pretty long off the tee, and that advantage saw him to a superb seven-under-par 65 on Friday and the lead after the second round of the R550,000 Sun City Challenge at the Lost City Golf Club.
He moved to 10-under-par 134, one stroke ahead of Bryce Easton, who raced home with three consecutive birdies to take second on his own.
He was also two strokes clear of Callie Swart, Andrew Georgiou and Brandon Pieters after his round of nine birdies and two bogeys on the 6,983-metre layout.
ÂIÂm hitting the ball a pretty good distance,Â he said, Âespecially this week Â driving it close to the greens and chipping well, so I hope I can do things tomorrow a little bit better than today.Â
And while distance helps on any course, in the end getting the ball in the hole is the point of the game, and Kamte has been thriving on the greens. ÂIÂm just going to keep my putting the way it is,Â he said.
ThatÂs working: He had 10 one-putts in his second round in a total of 26 for the round Â three better than he achieved in the first round when two bogeys and a double saw him card a 69.
He birdied all four of the par-fives, and the only fives on his scorecard came with his bogeys on the 365-metre fifth and the 360-metre 12th Â coincidentally the two shortest par-fours on the course.
Easton was not having a good day until he hit the final three holes. ÂI was not feeling good out there Â IÂm getting flu or something, so it was a relief to make a few putts and get into the mix,Â he said.
Pieters ground his way through his round, and was relieved to finish it one-under-par. ÂThree or four month ago, a grind would have given me a 76 or 77,Â he said. ÂThere are some positives Â not the least of which was the three birdies.Â
Georgiou was a bit frustrated after his two-under-par 70 saw him move to eight-under for the tournament. ÂI played so nicely all day,Â he said, Âand just at the end, there were one or two loose shots. This course will get you!Â
He had recovered from a bogey on the sixth after two early birdies, and had eased his way to 10-under Â and he fell foul of the 14th, one of the more difficult holes on the course. A bogey there and then another on 17, which is the second-toughest on the course, saw him limp home.
But he was unbowed ahead of the final round: ÂI want to do this for my American sister,Â he said. ÂSheÂs been going through a rough time, so I really want to do well and dedicate it to her.Â
Swart quietly went about his business in the morning. He kept bogeys off his card. ÂThis week, itÂs just been the one drop yesterday,Â he said after his second-round 69. ÂI feel that my golf is getting back, and so weÂll see what happens tomorrow.Â
There will be a bit of chasing to be done if Kamte is to be hauled in: ÂThe way IÂm hitting it, I just want to make every hole as easy as possible,Â said Kamte. ÂI just think around here, every hole is a birdie hole for me. IÂve just got to be clever and put the ball in play off the tee.Â