“The course played really tough today and it was a good test for us. It’s been difficult out there and it drains you to keep focused, so I’m very happy to walk off having shot two-under,” he said.
The three-time Sunshine Tour winner limited his mistakes during the second round and reached seven-under-par for the tournament, which put him in a share of first alongside Etienne Bond.
The greens ran at 12 on the stimp meter in the morning and became even faster during the round. It made for a trying day at Lost City Golf Course, but Curlewis was up to the challenge.
“The afternoon is definitely tougher than the morning, with greens firming up and putts getting very quick. The flags were in tricky positions and you had to think your way around,” he said.
The Margate local is comfortable under pressure and has won two playoffs in his career. He led going into the final round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Langebaan two months ago and has produced three top-10 results this season.
His good form and ability to stay calm will both factor into his bid to add a fourth title to his resume on Friday.
“It’s the position we all want to be in. I’m playing nicely and you learn every time you get into this kind of position, so we’ll stick to the game plan and see what happens,” he said.
Bond started on the 10th and took just 30 strokes to reach the turn. The 34-year-old had a superb day with the flat stick and went on to card 67 for his share of first place ahead of the final round.
“Today was really solid and I made a couple of proper putts. The greens are unbelievable and the golf course is probably the best I’ve seen it, so it’s nice to take advantage,” he said.
Keith Horne took up third place on five-under-par after playing his way around in 71, while Bryce Bibby and Wallie Coetsee shared fourth place on four-under-par.
Trevor Fisher Jnr’s 66 on Thursday was the low round of the day and helped the European Tour winner rise to 19th place. It was a big swing from his opening round of 79.