Jacques blows hot in round two at Wild Coast

Jacques Blaauw turned the time he is spending with the man who helps Charl Schwartzel prepare mentally into a fine six-under-par 64 in the second round of the R540,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Wild Coast Sun Country Club on Thursday.

Blaauw, 25, is still searching for his first victory after turning professional in 2008, and was flawless round the 5,807-metre par-70 layout to trail leader Jean Hugo by three strokes going into the final round of the 54-hole event.

He’s turned to Jan Botha, the man who is an adviser to the Masters champion on the psychological front, for a way through what has become a bit of a logjam for him.

“I’ve been battling to put two good nines together,” said Blaauw. “I’ve been getting myself so caught up in the outcome, that I have neglected the process.”

He made bogey-bogey-double bogey following a three-putt in the second round of the last tournament and missed the cut, but there was no sign of that in his second round at the Wild Coast.

“I made 34 putts in the first round,” he said, “and only 28 today, so that was six shots right there.

“And I managed not to get caught up in bad shots, and to concentrate instead of what was in front of me.”

While it was not enough to give him the lead, it puts him into the final group in the final round with Hugo and Justin Harding.

Hugo eagled the 16th to move to six-under for the tournament and, when, his playing partner Harding made his second bogey in three holes on the same hole, a two-stroke lead ahead of a final round which could take him to his second title in the series in two weeks.

Hugo overturned a six-stroke deficit he had on Peter Karmis at Simola a fortnight ago and won on the first playoff hole.

First-round leader Vaughn Groenewald slipped to a one-over 71 after his opening 66, and three-under for the tournament, level with Blaauw.

Further down the leaderboard, three other players matched Hugo’s 65: Michiel Bothma moved into a share of seventh with his five-under round; Keith Horne was one-over and in 16th; and Michael du Toit joined Horne in 16th after he too carded 65.

But no-one was able to match Blaauw’s 64. “I’ve been playing well, and this round was a long time coming,” he said.

If he keeps going, he will be pleased to finish better than the three third-place finishes which represent his best showing so far.

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