Jacques Blaauw recovered from two bogeys on his opening nine to post a five-under-par 67 and take the lead after the second round on Thursday of the R600,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Simola Golf and Country Estate.
He leads by one from Neil Schietekat, who made double-bogey five on the ninth – his final hole of the day – to relinquish a one-stroke lead he held at that point.
Two strokes further back in a share of third are Ruan de Smidt, Tyrone Mordt and Danie van Tonder. De Smidt and Mordt each carded three-under 69, while Van Tonder had the best round of the day with his seven-under-par 65 and that included a bogey on nine.
For Blaauw, the bogeys on his opening nine could have caused more damage but for his calm approach. “To get it back on track, it was just a matter of making good swings and concentrating on the shot at hand,” he said. “I have a tendency to think ahead, so I need to just play each shot as best I can. I’ve been trying to play just one shot at a time, and it’s been working.”
After his opening round had nary a bogey on the card, it was frustrating to give up strokes to par. “On 15, I just had a poor drive, a poor second shot and that was just a stupid bogey and then on 17 I hit it just left of the green and it was just a quick chip downhill,” he said. “I left it short and missed the putt.”
But he did what he needed to do, and closed with five birdies in his final nine. “To make 31 coming home felt really good. It’s one of my better nines this year, so I’m quite chuffed with it,” he said.
Schietekat was philosophical about his finish. “The whole day, I hit one bad shot,” he said. “I was between a five iron and a six iron. But one bad shot is not a problem.”
Van Tonder turned his fortunes around after his opening one-over 73. His 65 included eight birdies. “I battled on the greens yesterday, but today I obviously read them a lot better,” he said.
Of the top five ahead of the final round, only De Smidt has won, so there could be a few nervy players in the final groups.
Not that it’s a problem for Blaauw. “I haven’t been in a final group for some time, so I’m going to be nervous,” he said. “But that’s just how it’s going to be. I haven’t had to handle that pressure for a while so I’m actually looking forward to it and I want to see what my emotions are going to do.”