While Andrew Georgiou battled on Friday to process how good his 11-under-par 62 was in the second round of the R1.5-million Zambia Sugar Open, he had no illusions about how narrow the line is between success and failure.
His two eagles and seven birdies gave him a share of the halfway lead with Vaughn Groenewald, who carded an eight-under 65 which was almost forgotten, and with Rhys Enoch, who signed for an equally overlooked 66. They were a further shot ahead of Titch Moore, who went seven-under himself in the second round, and of Jacques Kruyswijk, who matched Georgiou’s heroics with a 62 of his own.
“Everyone is so good on this tour,” said Georgiou. “To shoot eight-under and 10-under… it’s almost the same! It’s just a couple of lucky breaks, and things went my way today. You’ve got to capitalise on those breaks.”
One of those breaks came on his first hole, the 10th, when his approach landed on the right side of a ridge by mere centimetres, and hoped to five feet from the pin, when it could have ended up 20 metres beyond the green had it caught the other side of the ridge.
The other came on his penultimate hole, the eighth, when a wayward two-iron off the tee headed for the trees and caught a bounce out onto the fairway. In the end, you make your luck.
“They always talk about how close you are to playing well, and to the breakthrough,” he said. “Today, I didn’t hit the ball much better than I did yesterday. I just made more putts, and every time I needed to make a big putt, I made it and that kept the momentum.
“I don’t quite know what happened but it was great. I’ve got five, six-under-par in the past, so many times, and today I said to my caddie, ‘Let’s just keep this foot on the pedal. We’re in a position where we can do something special,’ and we kept going, and the putts kept going.
“Once I made the turn – I think I was five-under, or something – I made a good putt for birdie on my 10th, and then I made eagle on my 11th… and then I actually lost track. They talk about ‘getting in the zone’ and I think that’s as close as I’ve ever been to it, because I couldn’t remember my score and I just kept going and making the putts.
“I knew that we were on a par-73 course, so I knew I had a way to go to get to 59, and I think, in way, that was a good thing because I felt I could keep pushing. I think if it had been a par-70, I would have known I was right there and that might have made me a bit tentative. But today I just kept going, so I’m glad it was a par-73.”
With three players already on last year’s winning score, and the halfway mark just reached, there is some thrilling golf in prospect. Not that Georgiou is thinking too far ahead. “Right now, I’m not even worried about the leaderboard or anything like that. I’m just trying to keep doing what I’m doing,” he said.