Good friends, same name, fierce battle

It’s interesting that they share the same name, and stranger still is that Louis Moolman and Louis de Jager are childhood friends from Pietersburg. On Thursday, however, they faced off for round three the ISPS Handa SA Match Play Championship, with Moolman winning 4&3.

“It was a weird game, because we are such good friends,” he said. “We grew up together in Pietersburg and it was a funny feeling playing against him. Today I really played well. My putting needed to improve and it came through – I holed just about everything I looked at.”

The 26-year-old took a while to settle into the round, but found his rhythm through the turn before taking a convincing victory. “I was 1-down after seven holes, but I played really well through and up to the 15th. I won eight and nine with birdies, and I made another two birdies on 13 and 14. I’m feeling more confident now, and it feels like the whole game is coming together,” he said.

The two friends often play against each other at The Els Club, Copperleaf, which Moolman calls home. He relished the chance to take on his mate in a format he prefers to stroke play.

“I’ve got a good match play record and I feel confident in this format. I don’t get as nervous during match play, which helps me stay calm and play to the best of my ability.

“From the get-go you try to apply pressure. You never want to be down – the moment you’re up you just try to carry on that momentum. When you’re 3-up you try to go 4-up, and that’s the good thing about match play, you just keep trying to put pressure on your opponent,” he said.

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