Louis de Jager (@JagerLouis) has made plenty of cuts in his sixth year on the Sunshine Tour and ranks 37th on the Order of Merit, but the 27-year-old wants more. On Thursday he carded 69 at Lost City Golf Course and put himself in position to contend for the Sun City Challenge.
The 2009 Suncoast Classic winner reached the 36-hole mark on six-under-par and tied for second alongside Keith Horne, Tyrone Ryan and Haydn Porteous, the four of whom will attempt to chase down leader Dean Burmester during the final round on Friday.
“It’s lovely to be in contention again,” said De Jager. “Dean is three shots ahead, but it’s a tricky golf course and I’m glad with where I’m standing.”
Burmester has set out a three-shot lead for himself with rounds of 68, 67 at Lost City Golf Course and the chasing pack will have to work hard in order to reel him in.
“Not too many mistakes today, which is always a good sign going into the pressure of the final round. We’re looking to break 70 tomorrow, I think that’s the key. Breaking 70 three times normally gives you a good shout in these winter events, so that’s the goal,” he said.
De Jager’s Thursday round was a tale of two halves. Starting on the back nine, he made par at the 10th and then proceeded to make four birdies over his next five holes. Unfortunately his aggressive approach was costly and he made bogeys at the 12th, 16th and 18th to turn at one-under for the day.
On the front stretch he settled down and his patience was rewarded with birdies at the second and fourth. A drop at the eighth was the final blemish on his card, but he drained a 10-footer for birdie at the ninth to finish the day on three-under.
“Every time you break 70 is good and I’m glad to have achieved that for the two rounds. I think I’ve been working on the right things and the confidence is high,” he said.
The Centurion local has racked up three top-20s from his last four starts on tour and knows what to expect come Friday. His game is sharp enough for him to come out firing during the final round.
“The last round is always tough and you need to strike the ball well here. I think that 11-under should do it, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow. I’ve got a few things I want to achieve throughout the day, so I’ll concentrate on my game and hopefully have a chance coming down the stretch,” he said.