Jake Redman started the second round of the R650,000 Vodacom Origjns of Golf Final presented by Samsung at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa not expecting to share the 36-hole lead, but a bogey-free 67 saw him leading the tournament at 12-under-par with Darren Fichardt.
The pair had a two-stroke edge over Neil Schietekat at 10-under-par, with a quartet consisting of Tyrone Mordt, Anthony Michael, Toby Tree and Callum Mowat a further shot back on nine-under-par.
“I’m really happy with 36 holes and no drops,” Redman said. “I wasn’t expecting myself to be co-leader after the end of play today. I saw Darren was 15-under with a couple of holes left and I thought he might get it to about 17-under. So I was just trying to play it one shot at a time.”
But Fichardt was unable to repeat his first-round fireworks, when he had a long look at a 59 and finished with an 11-under 61. Instead, he limped home with three bogeys in his final six holes, and, as a result, has opened the door for the victory which had looked firmly slammed shut when he turned in four-under.
Part of the problem was the swirling wind, which made club-selection a little puzzling, but it was something that Redman got right. “I just tried to keep the mental mistakes out of my game,” he said.
It worked perfectly, and, from a man who has been battling to string together good consecutive rounds, he has become something of an iceman in this tournament. “I’m definitely not going to change anything,” he said. “I’ll do exactly what I have been doing for the last couple of days. I’m not going to fix something that’s not broken.”
Redman turned professional in 2010, and promised much early in his career. He’s battled recently, having worked some swing changes into his game. They have begun to bear fruit, and he’s had two top-10 finishes in the second half of this Sunshine Tour season.
While he’s not naïve enough to believe all is fixed just yet, he’s happy with the way things are going. “It certainly does feel like the swing change is working,” he said. “It’s getting to where I want it to be, and it’s great to have put two rounds together like this and to put myself into contention.
“It’s been a frustrating period for me. I knew I was going to go through a slump with the changes, but it feels great now. I think the last time I was in contention was at the Wild Coast in August, so it’s quite a relief to get myself into this position.”