“I’ve played The Links three times before, but I arrived here on Tuesday and really fell in love with the course. It’s settled in and I really enjoyed playing it, and after shooting one-under at Outeniqua I had to do something today,” he said.
The R3,75-million Dimension Data Pro-Am has the competitors play one round at each of The Links, Montagu and Outeniqua courses before a cut to the leading 65 and those tied on the number. A fourth and final round is then played at Montagu. The Links is considered the toughest course of the three.
On Friday Horne made seven birdies and he’ll head into the weekend three shots behind leader Adilson da Silva, who carded 66 at Outeniqua for an 11-under-par total.
“When you don’t make bogeys it keeps your momentum going the whole way through," said Horne. "I stayed out of trouble the whole day, although I made a couple of good chip and putts. No bogeys keeps you going."
The 2012 Telkom PGA Championship winner had a flawless round at the 6775-metre links setup, which is a feat he also achieved during the 2006 South African Open Championship.
“It was playing tough today and my focus and concentration was much better at The Links, because it’s a lot scarier than Outeniqua. I made sure I did a bit more focusing today.
“I made a couple of good putts, but there was nothing dramatic. I made quite a few 15 footers, and that’s what made it seven-under today,” he said.
Horne, a five-time Sunshine Tour winner, knew that he had to go low at The Links in order to keep tabs on the leaders. On Friday he seized the day and now faces two consecutive rounds at the Montagu course.
Colin Nel reached the clubhouse in three-under-par 70 to secure a share of seventh heading into the weekend. The 30-year-old from Maritzburg looked forward to playing the weekend.
“I hit the ball great today and the game is feeling good. I’ve had two consistent rounds and we’ll see what tomorrow holds – hopefully we’ll make it to the final round with a real chance,” he said.
Reigning South African Open winner Morten Madsen had a steady day at The Links and shot 72 to join Nel on six-under.
“I had a chance to shoot a really good one today, but I didn’t manage it. I’m in a decent position, so I’m looking ahead at the moment,” he said.
Defending champion Jaco van Zyl kept in touch with the lead as he shot level-par 73 at The Links to share 12th at the halfway mark.
“This is always my Achilles heel of the week, so I’m glad to have it behind me and I’m looking forward to Montagu. Being defending champion is a thing of the past, so it would be nice to walk away with another win at one of these events and become current champion,” he said.