Callie leads with experience at Houghton

Callie Swart’s 17 years with the Sunshine Tour gave him the edge he needed to card four-under-par and share a two-stroke lead with Jake Redman in the R100 000 Sunshine Big Easy Tour event at Houghton Golf Club today.

Players struggled to keep their scores low, and Swart was one of only seven to card below par when he pencilled in five birdies and just one bogey.

Swart, with 30 top-ten finishes to his name, displayed his affinity for difficult courses when he tied for sixth in the Nashua Golf Challenge two months ago with a tournament score of two-under.

At Houghton today he displayed the same patience and carded two-under on either side of the turn.

A birdie on the first gave Swart a confidence boost at Houghton, which has hosted the SA Open eight times, and is a serious test of golf. “It was a great start to my round,” said Swart.

He made par through four holes before a birdie on the sixth, which would take him to the turn at two-under.

“I took advantage of the par-fives,” said Swart of two valuable birdies on the 10th and 15th, both par-five holes.

35-year-old Swart carded only one dropped shot, which came on the 11th when his tee shot found a bunker and a difficult lie. He chipped out and two-putted to shoot bogey.

Jake Redman produced a great recovery from a card that read two-over through three holes, and finished at four-under for the round.

After following a bogey with a double-bogey, Redman did well to steady the ship and card pars through his next six holes.“I was struggling with my driver, but it came together after the turn,” said Redman.

And come together it did, as Redman went on to card 30 for his back nine, which included a 48-foot putt for eagle on the fifth.

Should Callie Swart take a patient approach to tomorrow’s final round he is likely to prove the value of biding one’s time on a course as tough as Houghton.

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