Colin Nel made two eagles at Zebula Golf Estate and soared to eight-under-par, sharing the early second-round lead of the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament on Thursday.
ÂIt was a nice round. Many positives came out of it, so IÂm very happy. Those two eagles definitely helped,Â he said.
He shot an impressive seven-under-par 65 on Thursday to draw level with Dean Burmester ahead of the final round at the R600,000 tournament, and looked forward to being in contention.
ÂItÂs a new place for me,Â said Nel. ÂLeading Tour School was the last time, which was a few years ago, but weÂll take it as an experience and try to enjoy. You donÂt want to get too tied up in the moment, but you also want to have some fun at the same time.Â
He started at the 10th on the 6829-metre course and wasted no time, carding birdies at the 11th and 12th to get the momentum going. ÂI got off to a decent start, two-under through three,Â he said.
A birdie at 15 preceded his first eagle of the day, which he made at the 527-metre 18th, leading to a 31-stroke front nine. ÂI just hit two good shots Â driver and then a six iron to about 15 feet and then rolled in the putt,Â he said.
But the Maritzburg Golf Club professional was clearly not content with just one eagle for the day, and added another to his card when he boxed a 10-foot putt at the 517-metre second. ÂI hit a smooth seven iron to 10 feet and sank the putt,Â he said.
The trick to success at Zebula is reading the pace of its lightning-quick greens, and after receiving some advice from a fellow player, Nel made 27 putts during the second round.
ÂCompared to yesterdayÂs putting IÂll take it. I had 33 putts and Ulrich van den berg helped me with a bit of rhythm technique, and I could see on the course today that it was paying off,Â he said.
Burmester began the day at five-under-par and was pleased with his steady 69 in windy conditions. ÂMy game has been good all year, and I feel way more confident this week than I did a week or two ago. IÂm on the front foot the whole time, and never feel like IÂm catching up,Â he said.
Currently in his third year on tour, he enjoys the thrill of professional golf. ÂI love being in contention – thatÂs my goal every week. SomeoneÂs got to win, someoneÂs got to lose, and when itÂs my time to win IÂm going to enjoy it. If itÂs this week then that would be a great thing, but just to be in contention is great,Â he said.
He was ready to fight for victory, and added: ÂYou have to go for it and attack the golf course. If youÂre hitting the ball good itÂs there to be had.Â