Jaco the threat as Coetzee leads

By Lali Stander

2015 Investec Cup: Day 2Jaco van Zyl conjured an impressive five-under-par 67 at the Millvale Private Retreat to move within striking distance of second leader George Coetzee in the Investec Cup on Friday.

The overnight leader opened with a 68 and threatened to establish a commanding lead with a second round 70, but Van Zyl cut Coetzee’s advantage to two strokes when he finished on four-under-par 140.

Van Zyl finished two strokes clear of Justin Harding and former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who returned respective rounds of 71 and 74.

Following a 10 month break after double knee surgery in April and November last year, Van Zyl eased his way back into competition with a tie for 55th at the South African Open Championship in early January.

A tie for third at the Dimension Data Pro-Am, followed by a joint runner-up finish in the Joburg Open signalled a speedy return to form for the 13-time Sunshine Tour champion and the Dainfern golfer sealed his spot in the field for the Investec Cup with a tie for sixth in the Africa Open and share of 15th in the Tshwane Open on Sunday.

Van Zyl won the 2013 Investec Cup on the back of podium finishes in the Dimension Data Pro-Am and Telkom PGA Championship, however, the former champion doesn’t want to entertain thoughts of another victory just yet.

“The body has a lot more wear on it than two years ago, and I am just happy to be in it,” he said.

“To be honest, I just wanted to hang around over the two days at Millvale, because it’s a very tough layout, but now I am in a good position to attack on the weekend.

“I was happy with the way I hit the golf ball today and I started to get my head around these greens. I definitely think you score better here as you get to know the course and the guys who play here more regularly positively had an advantage.

“But going to the Lost City Golf Course for the next two rounds levels the playing field.”

Van Zyl only had one black mark on an otherwise flawless card.

“I capitalised where I could, especially after the bad patch through six and seven,” he said. “I hit a great tee shot at the sixth, straight down the fairway and I thought I had the perfect yardage in, but I pitched my approach straight into the water.

“That was a little frustrating and even more so when I missed a four-footer for birdie at the seventh. I just tried to limit my mistakes after that and did a pretty good job keeping the bogeys to just one.

“The pins were more accessible and the greens were more receptive after the overnight rain. Overall, I was happy with the way I played the course.”

Asked what it would take to win at the Lost City, Van replied: “Patience, a hot putter and more patience.”

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