McGuigan one clear in Vodacom Origins

Even Doug McGuigan’s usually sharp wit was nowhere near as sharp as his iron play as he worked his way into a one-stroke lead of the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament going into Friday’s final round at Selborne Park Golf Club.

On another overcast, wet day on the South Coast, McGuigan hit 18 greens on his way to a 66 and the lead on 10-under-par. And he’s only had one bogey in 36 holes.

“I’ve been very solid,” said McGuigan, who admitted he hasn’t worked as hard during a recent layoff as he’s done in the past. “Maybe there’s something in that. I haven’t hit 18 greens for a long time, so I’m very happy.”

His experience will be key on the final day, as will that of one of his nearest rivals, Adilson da Silva. Da Silva joins the younger duo of Jared Harvey and Charl Coetzee on nine under, and was just as impressive in his consistency.

“It was a good day. I just tried to keep myself out of trouble and missed only one fairway. I hit all of the greens as well,” said Da Silva.

Both considered veterans on the Sunshine Tour, they’ll also enjoy being in the same group on the final day.

“I haven’t played with Doug for a long time, but it will be fun. He’s a great character,” said Da Silva.

Of the younger brigade around them, Harvey did well to keep himself in contention with a 68 that started badly.

“I missed probably the shortest putt I’ve ever missed in my life on the first hole,” he said of the tap-in for birdie that shaved the hole. “Then I bogeyed the second and was really worried. But I just tried to stay in the moment and I’m happy with where I am.”

Harvey has won twice on the developmental Big Easy Tour, so has some experience of final round pressure.

“Obviously it’s going to be different on the main Sunshine Tour. But I’m excited. You just live and learn and enjoy it.”

The lowest round of the day came from Mark Williams, who produced a 64 for a total of eight under. He did so using a long putter for the first time in his career. It was enough to impress McGuigan. But as someone who’s been on tour long enough to recall a time when “long putter” described somebody who could hole out from 30 feet or more, he wasn’t about to switch from his traditional short putter just yet.

“I’m just long in the tooth,” he said.

By Michael Vlismas

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