The 2015 Africa Open champ had a fairly crisp scorecard that included three birdies on the back stretch and one drop on the front for a Friday 70 at Genzon Golf Club. He heads into the weekend on three-under-par and ready to close down the gap between himself and leader Peter Uihlein.
Darren Fichardt continued his push at the Shenzhen International with a Friday 70 of his own and shared fourth early on day two. He got things moving quickly, but had struggled with the flat stick on his second nine and eventually reached the 36-hole mark on six-under-par.
“I told my caddie after that third bogey that we were still only two shots back. These greens are tricky and guys are not moving too far ahead. Once again I shot lights out on the front nine and then on the back I had a string of bogeys, but I managed to bounce back,” he said.
The four-time European Tour winner will look to moving day for his chance to rise into contention.
“I don’t know what it is, maybe silly mistakes, but I’m playing well and I’ll definitely hit the range and get my game up to scratch for the weekend. I’m playing well enough and if I minimize the errors then I’ll definitely be there on Sunday,” he said.
Uihlein birdied the 17th to pull one shot clear of the field at the halfway mark, and the young American was be keen to stay ahead over the following two days.
“It was tricky today, but I played solid out there and had a nice finish. I haven’t led in a while and I’m excited for tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have a good weekend,” he said.
Second-placed Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who is scheduled to tee up at the inaugural Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open, set the tone early on Friday morning and shared the lead on eight-under-par.
“It was a great round and I have a lot of confidence after doing so well in The States. Since going worldwide I’ve learnt a lot and it’s helping players like me from Asia to improve,” he said.