On Friday the 10th hole at Durban Country Club played at 512 metres, which turned out to be the perfect distance for Joost Luiten, who holed his second shot from 227 metres out and made the first albatross in Volvo Golf Champions history.
“My first albatross. I hit a good drive middle of the fairway, 227 metres left to the pin. Hit a four‑iron and basically went straight at it, just pitched exactly where I wanted, just front of the green, and then hopefully releases up the slope and that's what it did. It went straight at the pin and went in. So, yeah, it was a good feeling,” he said.
The Dutchman found the left fairway with his driver and faced the green from a slight uphill lie. He picked out his four-iron and pitched the ball 20 metres short of the green. It bounced off the crest of one undulation and kicked forward onto the green and bee-lined toward the hole, slowing as it rolled straight into the cup.
One commentator noted that he was ‘Three-under on the back nine through one hole’. And that was the turnaround for Luiten, who immediately moved into contention. He shared the halfway lead on seven-under-par going into the weekend.
“Yeah, seven‑under for the tournament, and great position for the weekend and we just need to keep on playing. It's very tough out there. You just need to make pars and sometimes you have to sneak in a birdie or an albatross; that will help,” he laughed.