Ryan Cairns made bogey on 18, but still fired a seven-under-par 65 on Friday to pull within one stroke of the early round two lead of the R500,000 Platinum Classic being Played at Mooinooi Golf Club.
He finished the second round of the 54-hole tournament on nine-under-par, with only Michael Hollick ahead of him after Hollick carded a two-under-par 70 to move to 10-under for the tournament.
Cairns was in a share of second with Vaughn Groenewald, Ulrich van den Berg, James Kamte and Danie van Tonder.
“I was unlucky on 18,” said Cairns, who was playing the hole after making birdie on 16 and 16 to move his tally of birdies for the homeward nine to six. “I just caught the branches of a tree on the corner on the fairway I was trying to cut, and I had to chip out sideways.”
It was one of two bogeys on Cairns’ card on the only nine-hole course on which the Sunshine Tour plays a tournament.
“I found myself watching the putts of my playing partners much more closely than usual,” said Cairns. “I thought I might find myself putting from similar positions on the second nine, and I think that’s one reason why I did so much better coming home.”
His was one of the best rounds of the morning, and it was built on his short game. “I hit fewer greens today than I did yesterday,” said Cairns, “but I putted nicely. I also hit a lot of approaches close to the pins.”
Hollick opened with an eight-under-par 64, but battled to get the ball in the hole during his second round. “I was good mentally but the putter just wouldn’t behave,” he said on Twitter afterwards.
Dean O’Riley posed the best round of the morning with his eight-under-par 64. That lifted him to seven-under for the tournament, three off Hollick’s pace.