The eagle on his final hole just underlined the quality of George CoetzeeÂs second round on Friday in the R540,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Pretoria Country Club as he sprinted to a two-stroke lead.
He carded a seven-under-par 65 around his home track to move to eight-under-par 136, with Jean Hugo his closest pursuer ahead of the final round at 138.
He set up his round with a flurry of birdies after he made the turn. His round started on the 10th, and he got his first birdie on 18.
After that, however, he reeled off five in succession from the second to the sixth, and he had started to attract quite a crowd.
ÂAfter the third birdie, my playing partners congratulated me,Â he said, Âand I told them that it was not the end of it as I was still going.
ÂI was just unhappy that I broke the string with a bogey on seven, but I canÂt complain about the round,Â he added.
A further two strokes behind Coetzee on four-under-par 140 were Attie Schwartzel, PG van Zyl, Adilson Da Silva and JbeÂ Kruger.
While Schwartzel was simply keeping himself on track with a one-under-par 71 after his opening 69, Van Zyl and Kruger were posting 68s and Da Silva couldnÂt buy a putt on his way to a 69.
CoetzeeÂs round was a welcome boost for his confidence ahead of his departure from South Africa tomorrow to attempt to qualify for the US Open and the Open Championship.
ÂI was supposed to be on a six-week stint in Europe now,Â he said, Âbut the first three weeks didnÂt start off so well. So I came home to play on my home track, and itÂs starting to pay off. IÂm starting to find my game and IÂm looking forward to the next couple of weeks.Â
He wasnÂt able to get things going in his opening round, or the opening eight holes of his second round, however. ÂI was very uncomfortable with my putter,Â he said, Âand then on the 16th hole, I finally found something and I told my caddie that IÂd got it and weÂre going to make some putts now. Luckily, they started going in.Â
HugoÂs 66 was the only round which remotely approached the quality of CoetzeeÂs. He took full advantage of the four par-fives on the course, playing them four-under for the day, and the eagle on nine the cherry on the top of a good round.
But catching Coetzee at home in the final round might be a tough task: ÂIt feels like playing in a Wednesday meat competition,Â said Coetzee.