Haydn hurtles into Swazi Open lead

Haydn Porteous had a round to remember at Royal Swazi Sun Country Club on Friday, where he made 18 points to rise into a two-point lead at the Investec Royal Swazi Open.

 

“I’m feeling pretty confident and I played well today. If you gave me 18 points at the start of the day I would definitely have taken it. I’ve played three good rounds and it’s always nice to be leading,” he said.

 

The promising 19-year-old flew out of the gates on Friday and made birdies at the first and second holes, which indicated that a good score was on the cards. He made a further four birdies over the front loop to turn with 11 points in hand and solidify his place among the contenders.

 

Porteous cruised into the back nine with a run of pars until he eagled the 12th hole for five points and moved within two of the lead. At the time Jaco Ahlers held the top spot, but he made four consecutive bogeys at the end of his round and slid back to sole third on 38 points.

 

That left a gap for Porteous, who seized his chance and made birdie at the last to secure a two-shot lead ahead of the final round.

 

“I’ve made a couple of good putts from 10 to 15 feet and I’m taking advantage of the par fives out there. Hopefully I can do the same again tomorrow,” he said.

 

One month ago Porteous led at the 54-hole mark of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open and went on to finish sole third. The Modderfontein Golf Club member was excited to be in the mix this week and has his eye set on a maiden victory.

 

“It’s good to have that sort of feeling that I had in Zim, but hopefully I can finish it off this time. I can’t expect anything from tomorrow, but if I can do the same as I’ve done over the first three days then I’ll have a good chance at the title,” he said.

 

The best score of the day went to CJ du Plessis, who spent hours on the practice putting green after his round on Thursday. The hard work paid off as the 23-year-old shot a career-best 63 that was worth 19 points.

 

“During the second round I played well, but I couldn’t get anything going. Today I found the bottom of the cup on every single hole, I had 23 putts instead of the 37 that I had yesterday. Two hours on the putting green is worth it!” he smiled.

 

Tyrone Mordt (pictured left) was the nearest chaser after scoring 16 points during the third round. Two points off the pace and sole second, Mordt was ready to contend in the final round.

 

“I played solidly today and I was bogey-free. It’s nice to be playing well again and I’ll stay focused on the task ahead of me tomorrow,” he said.

 

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