Divan’s 63 not enough to lead Telkom PGA Championship

Divan van den Heever had one of those rounds on Friday when he carded a nine-under-par 63 in the second round of the R3.25-million Telkom PGA Championship being played at Country Club Johannesburg.

Extraordinarily, his heroics weren’t enough to take the early halfway lead of the tournament as, ahead of him, three players shot eight-under 64s to occupy the top of the leaderboard – Branden Grace and George Coetzee sharing the top spot at 15-under through 36 holes, and Hennie Otto one back at 14-under.

Van den Heever was self-deprecating about his round: “I got quite a few lucky breaks today,” he said, “so things went my way.”

They don’t get much better than eight birdies and an eagle, even when there is a dropped shot on the card.

“The eagle came on 16,” he said of the 520-metre par-five. “I hit driver-three wood and then I made a good putt.”

He was hitting the ball fairly close all day, as evidenced by the fact that he took only 24 putts for the round. “I’ll take that any day,” he laughed.

“The course was set up pretty fairly today,” he said. “It was set up for scoring, but you’ve still got to hit it in the right places.”

Vaughn Groenewald also managed a nine-under 63, but his came without a single dropped shot, and included an extraordinary run of five consecutive birdies to conclude his round with a homeward nine of 30.

Like Van den Heever, Coetzee and Otto each dropped shots in their rounds, but Grace was flawless for a second day in a row with his eight birdies.

Otto brings the confidence from a victory last week in the Dimension Data Pro-Am to this tournament, and Grace and Coetzee the exuberance of youth as they tried to outdo each other as they played the second round in a row together.

Behind them, the low scoring continued unabated, with Josh Cunliffe and Neil Schietekat each carding seven-under 65s.

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