How Swede it is for Henrik in SA Open

After what he called a ‘trembling start’, Henrik Stenson settled down and carded a seven-under-par 65 on Friday to move to 13-under after the second round of the South African Open Championship being played at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.

Teeing off on the 10th, the Swede made five consecutive pars before cutting loose with three birdies in a row from 15 to 17. “That kind of jump-started my day, those three birdies,” he said.

“Then I birdied one and three as well, so I was five-under after 12. Then I finished with a bit of fireworks: On the eighth, I hit a great drive. I nailed it down the middle into the wind and then hit a super six-iron from 206 to eight feet and made the putt,” he added.

And, in a good day for the Swedes in the field, Magnus A Carlsson fired a five-under 67 to move to nine-under at halfway to hold second place on his own in the clubhouse, and Michael Jonzon carded 69 to share fourth with South Africa’s Oliver Bekker at seven-under for the tournament.

Scotland’s Lloyd Saltman moved to eight-under for the tournament with his 66, and was alone in third.

What has been noticeable about Stenson’s play has been the regular and effective use of driver. “I counted eight drives on the course yesterday, and that’s probably as many as I hit the entire 2011 season,” he said. “It’s nice to get the feel back with the driver and get a bit of confidence back.

“I’ve hit some really good tee balls, and on this course, if you can fly it 280 or 290 metres, then you can take a lot of bunkers out of play and end up going in with a gap wedge instead of a seven-iron. It’s a huge advantage – there are probably seven or eight holes where it makes a difference.”

Stenson, who had trouble with a flight out of New York, and only arrived in South Africa on Tuesday, was still battling the effects of jetlag. “I went to bed at midnight last night, and woke up at 1.40am, so I guess the body thought it was a bit of an afternoon kip,” he laughed. “I slept another couple of hours, so I don’t know what time of day it is, really.”

Behind the leaders, defending champion Hennie Otto carded a level-par 72 and looked set to make the cut on one-under through halfway.

© 2016 Sunshine Tour. All rights reserved. Website constructed by OCS Sport