While most struggled around Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate, Louis Calitz stood out when he shot 67 on Thursday in round two of Sunshine Big Easy Tour Championship presented by Stonehage.
Calitz carded seven birdies and took his tournament score to six-under-par for a three stroke lead over Thabang Simon ahead of the final day of the R250,000 season finale.
ÂEverything is coming together – itÂs just patience, which is starting to pay off,Â said 25-year-old Calitz, whose cool head kept his bogey count down to two on the second day.
Calitz burst into the lead with a hattrick of birdies from the seventh to the ninth after overcoming a drop on the second.
The Schoeman Park Golf Club professional thus made the turn at three-under for the tournament. ÂI finished my front nine strongly with three (birdies) in a row,Â he said.
Calitz, who is currently 17th on the Order of Merit, stayed calm at the top of the leaderboard and focused on keeping out of trouble. ÂThe greens are so quick that you canÂt really go for it, so I just waited until I had opportunities and made some good putts,Â he said.
The second and final drop of his round came on the par-three 14th when his 12-foot putt lipped the cup but refused to sink.
Calitz shrugged off the bogey and proved his nerve when he pencilled in birdies on the 15th, 16th and 18th before signing for his 67, the best round thus far.
Thabang Simon carded four birdies during his round, but drops on the first, third and 12th took his card to 71. He holds sole possession of second at three-under-par.
A further three strokes behind are Jeff Inglis and Dean Burmester. The pair is tied for third at level-par and have their work cut out for them ahead of the final round tomorrow.
CalitzÂs score and demeanour stood out at Copperleaf today, but he must stay focused if he wants to make the Tour Championship his first professional win.