“This is a first for me and it’s amazing to be leading! I’m learning with every tournament and it’s phenomenal to be in this position,” he said.
The rookie from Pretoria played his way into the R500,000 event through pre-qualifying and then carded 67 for round one. His Friday 65 turned the week into something of a fairytale as he moved nine places up the leaderboard into sole first.
After a shaky start the 20-year-old composed himself with a birdie at the fourth before dominating from the tee. Capitalizing on the shortness of the course, Kruyswijk made six consecutive birdies from the sixth to the 11th to cement his place atop the leaderboard. A final gain at the 17th put him one stroke clear.
“I started badly on the first and just had a quick chat with my caddie. We decided that we had to pull it back. On the short hole, the sixth, I hit a really nice seven-iron to three metres and that got some momentum going. After that I just kept hitting it close and all of the putts dropped!” he laughed.
While he’s already clocked up a win on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour, Friday marked Kruyswijk’s first time leading on the main tour, but that was far from the young gun’s mind.
“I’m going to stick with my game plan tomorrow. I shouldn’t change the things that have worked for the last two days, so tomorrow I’m going to keep playing attacking golf,” he said.
A stroke back and looking all kinds of dangerous was Neil Schietekat, who shot 68 on Friday to claim sole second on 11-under. He was followed by Michael Hollick and Doug McGuigan, who shared third on 10-under-par, while 10 players shared fifth on nine-under. The hugely bunched leaderboard guarantees a mouth-watering final round on Saturday.