Friday was not an easy day for any of the players, but Derick Petersen, who made four bogeys at Lusaka Golf Club during the second round of the Zambia Sugar Open, managed to grind out a three-under-par 70 and take an early hold on the clubhouse lead.
The wind picked up during the course of the morning, but Petersen’s mistakes came early on in his round which started on the 10th with three of those four bogeys in his opening nine – and he put things to rights with a fine inward nine of four-under-par 31 which included an eagle and three birdies.
“I had a bit of a tough start with a drop on 12 and I dropped again on 13,” he said. “Then I just reminded myself that I’ve played in the wind so many times. I just needed to calm down and keep the ball in play and it came off for me on the back nine.”
The Lusaka Golf Club’s layout features hard, small greens and tight fairways, to the wind made things doubly difficult for all the players. But the 25-year-old Petersen stayed positive and was eventually rewarded with an eagle three at the 498-metre second hole, the second-longest par-five on the course.
The spark caught fire and Petersen went on to birdie the fourth, seventh and eighth for a rise to seven-under through 35 holes. A bogey at the last offset an otherwise extraordinary second nine by the man from George in the Western Cape.
The George are would have had further cause for celebration when Riekus Nortje, another local of the town, carded 71 to finish the morning session in second.
He plays his golf out of Fancourt, and with a links layout on the estate, he was almost at home in the windy conditions. “You have to land the ball short of the green here and let it run up,” he said. “I actually enjoy links golf, so things went well for me out there.”
There was a four-stroke gap from Nortje to the next bunch of players who completed their second rounds in the morning: Ryan Tipping, Maritz Wessels and Shaun Smith were grouped on one-under-par at the halfway stage.