De Smidt eases to clubhouse lead at Simola

Ruan de Smidt didn’t drop a shot on his way to a three-under-par 69 on Thursday and a share of the early second-round lead of the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Simola Golf and Country Estate.


His playing partner was Tyrone Mordt, who took what might be called the scenic route on his way to his share of that lead at six-under-par, with a bogey and a double-bogey on his card before the turn. He made up for those blemishes with an eagle and three birdies after the turn for his 69.


They lead by one after the morning field completed their rounds from, who had the best round of the morning with his five-under 67.


“I played pretty solidly,” said De Smidt. “I just didn’t make too many putts. It’s always easier to be in contention if you don’t make any drops.”


De Smidt had a god opening round on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the corresponding tournament last year, when his four-under-par 68 included a rare ace on the difficult 157-metre 17th. “After the first round, it was very average,” he said of the 72-71 finish which saw him finish in a share of 17th. Two 69s this time have him in better shape heading into the final round.


Mordt was happy to have pulled things back on track on his second nine: “I needed it,” he said. “I’d slipped back to one-under, so it was good to finish strongly. I’ve just been working on the mental side of things and that helps.”


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