Jake Roos celebrated a return to South Africa with a share of the lead of the R600,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung tournament at Vaal de Grace Golf Estate after his second-round 67 on Thursday put him level with PH McIntyre on 12-under-par 132.
They held a two-stroke edge over Tyrone Ferreira, Wallie Coetsee and CJ du Plessis, who each carded a second successive five-under-par 67 to move to 10-under-par 134.
Roos has been campaigning on the Challenge Tour, the ‘second tier’ of the European Tour, where a finish in the top 15 on that money list ensures a spot at the main table for the following season.
“Things are going well for me there,” said Roos, “so I just have to keep going and have a good finish in the final four tournaments.” He is currently in eighth position on that money list with two victories to his credit, so a solid finish should see him promoted – as will a third victory.
And he is making sure his performance in the Vaal de Grace tournament helps him prepare for that final push. “I think things are a bit easier for me at home. It’s much more comfortable here,” he said.
“Overseas, you’re out of your normal routine in everything. And the standard is very high overseas. There are more players – fields of 156 and a cut to 60 – so it’s very competitive. So once you come home, you breathe a little easier.
“This is a good workout for going back to the Challenge Tour. There are some challenging lies here because it’s so dry. It’s good. I’m going to China next which is also quite grainy and you have some interesting lies. So this is good preparation for me for my next two events,” he added.
His second round began perfectly after starting at the 10th as he made four birdies to turn at four-under-par 32. “I hit the ball nicely again today and made some putts on my front nine,” he said.
He started his homeward nine with another birdie, but a dropped shot at his 16th of the day stopped the imperious march. “I’ve been putting well. But I three-putted at the end here on six which was a bit unfortunate on the par-five, but I got par. That one got away a little bit, but all-in-all, I’m very happy with my game,” he said.
McIntyre had a brief grumble about the three bogeys on his card during his four-under-par 68, but, on reflection, he was pleased with his position. “Obviously backing up my first round 64 with a 68 is great,” he said. “I’m really happy with the way I’m striking the ball, and I’m putting well too.”