Off at a dawn-shattering 06:20 on the 10th, Ruan de Smidt certainly made the most of his early start by carding an impressive five-under-par 67 that was worth a substantial 14 stableford points.
De Smidt’s second round was enough to lead by one point from veteran Titch Moore and overnight co-leader Daniel Greene.
Moore carded the round of the day to jump into second place alongside Greene, and he was thrilled with his six-under-par 66, 16 point tally on day two. “It was good out there today,” he said. “Obviously playing early, the greens were rolling a bit better, but the course is looking as good as it’s ever been. I’ve been here for 20 years now and it really is as good as it’s ever been. I love it here. I’ve been here for 20 years and I’m going to keep on coming.”
De Smidt was aware there was still a whole afternoon field eager to catch him and he said, “Yeah I’m happy. It’s been a good couple of days. Obviously the afternoon field still needs to go out, but hopefully I’m there or thereabouts after today.”
The closest afternoon starter to de Smidt was the Fancourt based Scotsman Doug McGuigan, who lies tied fourth on 22 points alongside Vaughn Groenewald. “It was difficult today. For some reason I found it difficult to get it going today. Towards the end it suddenly changed and I made three or four birdies,” said McGuigan.
With five points available for an eagle, McGuigan feels that anyone within 10 points of the leader can still claim the title. “Five shots can be picked up in one hole with this format. It’s a great format for that and anything within 10 points going into the weekend, its wide open for those players,” he explained.
Joint overnight leader Neil Scheitekat finds himself one behind McGuigan and six points back from de Smidt. “I actually felt like I played better today than I played yesterday. I just didn’t make an eagle and I actually hit better putts today, but they just didn’t go in the hole,” he said.
Like McGuigan, Schietekat is aware a winner may appear from several points back of the leaders. “I think everyone that is – looking at the scoreboard now – everyone that is in 15 points can still win this thing. It’s so tough to pick a number with this format, whereas you can pick a number in stroke play. You know, you never know with this format,” he said.
Greene came away with a respectable 10 points on day two, however he wasn’t overly thrilled with his performance at Royal Swazi Spa Country Club. “Yeah I’m happy in a way. I feel like I threw it away a bit today because I got off to a really good start and then I missed a lot of putts. I feel like I’m hitting the ball well, but just didn’t sink the putts today,” he explained.
However, Greene echoed the thoughts of his playing competitors, stating that nobody is out the race just yet, and he fancied his chances come the Saturday finish.“I’m definitely not counting myself out. If I start rolling the ball nicely again and keep on hitting it like I am I think there will be a good chance,” he said.