Australian Andrew Dodt carded a two-under-par 70 in the second round of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to extend his lead over the field to three strokes going into the weekend at the Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita, leaving him on eight-under-par for the tournament.
The conditions have been a serious challenge all week as winds have made scoring on the Ernie Els design exceptionally difficult, and Dodt says he’s enjoying the challenge in the tri-sanctioned event.
“I’m trying to embrace the challenge and enjoy the conditions and have fun, rather than trying to hold on and be defensive. You’ve got to be as tough as you can and miss in the right spots. I didn’t strike the ball as well as I did yesterday, but I missed in the right areas, where I could still get up and down. That was the key.”
Dodt’s front and back nine were of stark differences as his front nine yielded eight pars and a single birdie, while his back nine was a mixed affair with four birdies, three pars, a bogey and a double-bogey at the par-five 13th.
“The chip-in birdie on the 12th was a lovely shot. It came out a little harder than I would’ve liked but luckily it hit the hole dead centre. I lost my concentration on the next hole, though, which sometimes happens when you make a birdie,” he said.
Windy conditions often force players to make swing changes mid-round in order to limit mistakes, but Dodt said the windy conditions help him with his movement through the ball.
“I’ve actually been struggling a bit to get on my left side through the ball, but this wind is helping me get on the left side, as you have to do that to hit it low. I’ve always been a pretty good wind player, so I feel really comfortable in these conditions.”
Last week’s Trophee Hassan II winner Jeunhung Wang is Dodt’s closest threat at five-under-par for the tournament, and the young Korean remained patient to card a two-under-par 70.
“Overall, it was a good round for me. I hung in there and stayed patient. It was really tough so I am very happy with how I played. I have been hitting the ball well. The game was pretty much the same for me today. I just aimed to hit as many fairways and greens as I can. You have to think positively playing in this kind of challenging conditions. I managed to do it today,” explained Wang.
Nicolas Colsaerts, who is a Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita ambassador, produced the round of the day, carding an impressive seven-under-par 65 that included nine birdies, and a front nine of five-under-par 31.
“I can’t really think of a better display than that. I played every shot the way I intended, using the wind here and there, and most of them were really close. I converted most of the birdie chances I gave myself, but it could’ve been even better. It’s the toughest I’ve ever seen this place play in however many rounds I’ve played here. It’s a serious test,” Colsaerts explained.
Jaco Ahlers, Ruan de Smidt, Hennie Otto and Jaco Van Zyl are the highest placed South Africans in the field on one-under-par, and Van Zyl said it would take something special to catch Dodt over the weekend.
“Like I say there are a couple holes where you’ve got your scoring opportunities and again it doesn’t take much not to utilize it. You know, you get to 14, 15, 16, 17 and you’re just so glad to be level-par through them. To try and catch someone who is playing as nicely as Andrew, it’s going to be tough over the weekend,” explained Van Zyl.