“I’m really playing well and looking forward to this weekend. I left a few out there, and I was really eyeing nine-under, but I’m in a good position,” he said.
Otto’s first European Tour win was at the Italian Open in 2008, and he’s since missed only one cut on Italian soil. Those fond memories inspired the 37-year-old.
“I’ve had some good memories in Italy, a win and some top-10s over the last few years, so it’s always good to come back here,” he said.
At 119th in the Race to Dubai, Otto needs some good results in the coming weeks to secure his place in Europe next year. He picked up top 15s at the Scottish Open and Open de France two months ago, and last week took home a share of 26th at the KLM Open, but he needs more.
The parklands style and hot weather have a familiar feel to many tracks in Gauteng and the course suits South African players. Otto has extra fondness for it since making his first competitive hole-in-one there on Thursday.
“That was my first hole-in-one in competitive play, which was nice. The greens are so good that you can make all these putts and we’re used to the tree-lined golf courses of South Africa, so this is familiar.
Lagging by a stroke were James Kingston and Jaco van Zyl, both of whom reached the halfway mark tied for 16th on five-under-par. Thomas Aiken headed to the weekend in a share of 25th on four-under.