Madsen bares his teeth in Tshwane Open

On Friday the great Dane Morten Orum Madsen barked out his challenge with a flawless 65 at the Tshwane Open, where he led the morning field by one shot on a 12-under-par total.


The blonde 25-year-old started on the 10th at The Els Club, Copperleaf and tore up his outward nine in 31 shots en route to claiming the halfway lead.


“I birdied four of the first five and that’s always a great way to start off your round and put yourself in a good mindset.  I had a bit of a hiccup on 15 and 16 and not making birdie there, but luckily I got one on 17 and I was off and rolling again,” he said.


Last year at Glendower Golf Club Madsen kept Charl Schwartzel, Jbe’ Kruger and Hennie Otto at bay during the final round of the South African Open Championship, which he won by two shots.


“Winning has calmed me down a little bit, just by knowing what to expect,” said Madsen. “It’s hard to birdie every hole and you’ve got to deal with adversity well, because you’re not going to play perfect golf for 72 holes. Whoever deals with the bad holes and bad shots the best is probably also the guy who’s going to be on top come Sunday.”


At 16th in the Race to Dubai and fresh off a tie for sixth at the Dimension Data Pro-Am, Madsen has the credentials to run away with the €1,5-million Tshwane Open in his jaws.


“I played the first two rounds with Thomas (Aiken) and Darren (Fichardt) and it was a great group. They are such nice guys and they played awesome as well. I’ve got to keep my head down and continue making birdies to keep those guys behind me,” he said.


It was an impressive day from the young gun from Silkeborg Golf Club, which is also the home of 2013 Nedbank Golf Challenge winner Thomas Bjorn. If Madsen continues at this pace he’ll become Denmark’s next big export.


“It’s always fun to see your name up there on the leaderboard and that’s what we play for. I practice to put myself in that position. To have a chance at the weekend is always great and it’s something I really cherish,” he said.


South Africans Fichardt, Trevor Fisher Jnr, and Jake Roos loomed in a share of fourth on 10-under, but the closest chasers were internationals.


Overnight leader Simon Dyson stayed into contention with a 68 on Friday. The Englishman picked up momentum over the front stretch, which was his second nine of the day, to reach the clubhouse in second place on 11-under-par. Spain’s Carlos del Moral made it a tie for second with a Friday 65 that shifted him up from 13th.


“It’s always tough to follow a low score,” said Dyson, “because you always feel like you’re losing ground on what you had the day before. I’ve been out here quite a while now and I knew there were plenty of chances to come today. I also knew that I was putting nicely, so I just stayed patient and hit good putts and eventually a few of them dropped.”


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