19th October 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Horne’s mental turnaround pays dividends in Parys
Keith Horne converted a few weeks of work on his state of mind into a second-round six-under-par 66 on Friday to take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Parys Golf and Country Estate.
He overcame a balky start of two bogeys in his opening two holes to come roaring back with eight birdies to move to 11-under for the tournament, well clear of second-placed Garth Mulroy, and a further shot clear of Sweden’s Frederik From and England’s Chris Cannon who were on seven-under.
“I did a bit of mental work in the last week or so and it seems to have helped a lot,” said Horne. “Now, I’m just happy with the way I’m playing. I haven’t been playing so well for the last couple of months. I’ve been struggling a bit in Japan. I had a disappointing couple of months there.”
And it was his work off the tee which showed how much it’s turned around for the nine-time Sunshine Tour winner. “I’ve been driving the ball fantastically,” he said. “I like to think of myself as a good driver, but this is about as good as I have ever been. I’m hitting it really solidly and really straight. This course is narrow and tight, and I’m hitting drivers almost everywhere and it’s leaving me such short irons in that it just feels easy.”
The result of that confidence off the tee is that he is able to reach all the par-fives in two, and his score of seven-under for those eight holes this week indicates just how much he owes to his driving this week.
In addition, he has been able to overcome trying starts to both his rounds so far. “Both days, I’ve started by wasting good tee shots on the first two holes,” he said. “Yesterday, I threw away two easy up-and-downs on the first two holes and today, I tried to be aggressive starting. I took on the flags and flew the greens and made bogeys.
“That’s an example of the mental work paying off. I didn’t get on top of myself, I didn’t get frustrated and angry early in the rounds. I felt like I was playing really well. My focus is a lot better on the course.”
Mulroy also recovered from a pair of early bogeys to post a 69 and get himself into contention in second place. Cannon finished his round with a flourish on 18, where he made eagle to card a 69 of his own, while From also finished three-under for the round to share third.
One shot further back was a group of six players on six-under, a group that included first-round leader Luke Jerling who shot level-par, and Trevor Fisher Jnr, whose seven-under 65 was the round of the day.
Ahead of them, however, Horne has the inside track for the final round, even if the extent of his lead was a little unexpected. “I was aiming for nine-under after two rounds,” said Horne. “Just this morning, I thought if I could shoot four-under today, it would be good, and anything more would be a bonus. I’m very happy to be at 11.”