Merrick Bremner (@Merrick_Bremner) looks likely to miss the cut on Thursday at St Francis Links after his second-round 78 in the R600,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung, but he knows that his clubs which went missing en route from Russia can bear the brunt of the blame.
Bremner finished his second round at a total of eight-over-par, well behind the clubhouse lead of three-under set by Shaun Smith, and even further behind the seven-under set by first-round leader Keith Horne.
“I only got a message from the airline late last night that my clubs were in Johannesburg after they didn’t get back to South Africa with me after I played in last week’s M2M Russian Open,” said Bremner.
“I had a new set of irons that I wasn’t quite comfortable with yet, so I played with them,” he said, “and my driver and my new putter that was really working well for me were in that lost bag too.”
He managed an adequate two-over-par 74 in the opening round, but slumped to a colourful six-over-par in the second, his card littered with a triple-bogey, two doubles, three bogeys, two birdies and an eagle.
His playing partner Danie van Tonder looked set to take the clubhouse lead after the morning field of the second round was done, but he dumped his tee-shot of 18 in the water hazard left of the fairway. His next shot flew into the bush short and right of the green, and was unplayable, and he took another three strokes to get the ball in the hole. He took an eight there, slipping to two-under for the tournament and gifting the clubhouse lead to Smith who carded a one-over 73.
Bremner’s trip to Russia was also not without its drama: “My personal bags didn’t arrive on my flight to Moscow, so I spent a day without kit there,” he said. “And on the return flight, there were four South African golfers who flew from Moscow to Paris and then on to Johannesburg, and their clubs all arrived with no problems.”
So difficult did Bremner find things that he resorted to using a lob wedge to putt on one hole. “I left the first putt a bit short, and tapped it in, but the rest of the time I used my old putter,” he said.
He’ll have the weekend to get reacquainted with the clubs that went missing.