“It was a bit of a quieter day, but after a round like yesterday you have to be pleased with 10 points. The next two days will be nice and exciting, so it should be a good second half,” he said.
The six-time Sunshine Tour winner will bank on his experience in the coming two rounds as he looks to overtake midway leader Drikus van der Walt, who set the tone on 30 points.
The R1.2-million Investec Royal Swazi Open uses a modified stableford scoring system, wherein eight points are awarded for an albatross, five for an eagle, and two for a birdie. One point is deducted for a bogey, while three are deducted for a double bogey or worse. McGuigan was four points back at the end of round two, courtesy of a Thursday round that included six birdies and two bogeys.
“I’ve been playing well for a while, but the scores haven’t been showing it. It’s satisfying to make so many birdies over the last two days and there are plenty of good signs. I can feel the confidence building and I’m in a good frame of mind,” he said.
Grinding away on tour can be a trying lifestyle, so it helps when you and your roommate are doing well. That was the case for McGuigan and his travelling partner Charl Coetzee, who was sole third on 26 points.
“Myself, Charl and Christiaan Basson have been travelling together since the end of last year and we get on well,” said McGuigan. “This week is a special one, because it’s not often that you and your roommate are on the top of the leaderboard. It doesn’t matter who wins, you’ll always wish each other well.”
Van der Walt was the lone ranger out in front after he made the clubhouse with 14 points for day two. His halfway total of 30 points was quite special – it only took 48 points to make it into last year’s playoff.
“I’m very positive going into the next two days, but I still haven’t won on the main tour, so any win is big for me. This has been a breakthrough tournament for some good golfers, so we’ll have to see what happens on Sunday afternoon,” he said.
Plenty of golf remains and the points are out there on the fairways and greens of Royal Swazi Sun. It’s time for the professionals to employ their risk-and-reward strategies.