Dawie van der Walt gave a whole new meaning to golf’s concept of ‘moving day’ when he fired an eight-under-par 64 in the third round of the Investec Cup to position himself just three shots off the lead going into the final day.
He had hit the halfway mark in a lack-lustre even-par 144 after the opening two rounds at Millvale Private Retreat, before he unleashed an eight-birdie barrage to get in touch with the lead of the R1-million tournament – as well as giving himself a chance to get a bigger share of the R10-million Bonus Pool which is being shared by the 30 players who have made it into the tournament.
“I was a long way back, so I knew I had to shoot something decent to have a chance of finishing top five,” he said. “I saw the leaders weren’t going anywhere, so eight-under-par put me in a good place for the final round.”
The winner of last year’s Tshwane Open and the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa racked up three birdies ahead of the turn, and then turned on the afterburners with five more in the home stretch to close in five-under-par 31 on the back nine of the Lost City at Sun City.
“We’ll have to see whether I can do that again in the final round,” he said. “I hit a lot of good shots and obviously, I converted them with the putts. If I can just do that again – I’d certainly take another 64!”
He had a couple of long putts during his third round, and one on the 18th from the left-hand side of the green from which no-one was able to judge the weight correctly shaved the hole. “I’ve just switched putters in Doral about two weeks ago, and my putting hasn’t really felt all that good,” he said. “This is only the second putter I’ve used in over two years, so it’s good to see some putts go in the hole for a change.”
Van der Walt has produced low rounds like his third at the Lost City periodically, and sometimes it seems to take everyone by surprise. It also seems to take him by surprise sometimes. “Your guess is as good as mine,” he laughed. “I’ve just figured out that I’m not going to figure this game out. I feel like I’m playing well and I don’t shoot the scores, and then when I feel that things aren’t going all that well, then I go low.
“Golf is just so unpredictable, so all you can do is just work hard, do what you do and every now and then days like my third round happen.”
If it happens again, he could make life difficult for the players who lead him in the Investec Cup.