Jacques close to striking Thai gold

15_Thailand_BlaauwJ_rd2NEWTwo bad holes prevented Jacques Blaauw from putting his name amongst the leaders at the Thailand Golf Championship on Friday, but he was certainly heading the right direction.

The three-time Sunshine Tour winner received a special invitation to play the $1-million tournament, which features the likes of Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer, all of whom will compete at the weekend.

So, too, will Blaauw, who made the halfway mark in a share of 11th place on five-under-par, despite dropping three shots in the final four holes of his second round.

Getting into position at big events is new territory for the promising golfer from Paarl, who shot 61 during the final round of the Tshwane Open in March to finish second in a European Tour event.

Friday’s round began well for the 29-year-old, who started off the 10th and made an eagle at the 15th on his way to turning in four-under.

On the second loop he continued to impress and added birdies at the first and third, but late in the round he seemed to feel the pressure, which led to a double bogey six at the sixth hole. He went on make a drop at the ninth, but has been playing well overall and needs to keep his chin up going into the weekend.

Over the first two days he’s gone three for three in sand saves and has needed only 28 putts in each round, so he’s clearly able to score. The issue is a lack of opportunities, and Blaauw must improve on his current figure of 12/18 greens in regulation made per round. With a few more chances he could really compete against some of the world’s best golfers over the weekend.

It feels as though he’s on the cusp of getting it all right and thus far his scoring has been more than adequate. Two potentially huge days lie ahead for Blaauw, who has the makings of a future star. It’s time to shine.

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