Ominous signs at Centuron as Jaco acclimatises

As he acclimatised to his home country’s conditions, Jaco van Zyl was looking increasingly invincible as he took a three-stroke lead early in the second round of the Telkom PGA Pro-Am.

He fired a six-under-par 66 to move to 11-under-par for the R500,000 54-hole tournament being played on the 6,700-metre Centurion Country Club to lead Jake Roos by three strokes after Roos matched his 66.

“I got off to a really slow start today,” he said after he teed off on the 10th and made birdie on 12 and bogey on 13 to turn in level-par 36. “I just couldn’t get anything going.

“But I got things going nicely on the first nine – my back nine – and I got it to four-under-par through the first five holes and just built from there,” he added.

He in fact closed in six-under 30, and had a putt for an eagle two as he launched a three-wood to 12 feet from the pin on the 285-metre ninth. His putt just missed on the left and he made no mistake with his birdie putt – but he was that close to a closing 29.

“The front nine here is definitely the scoring nine,” he said. “Both par-fives are very reachable. A couple of short par-fours and a few more generous flags make it quite an attractive proposition.”

Van Zyl is the defending champion in the event, and he also won it in 2009. And with two second-place finishes in the tournament too, it will take a superb effort to stop him.

Roos was one of the players who tried in the second round, and his bogey-free 66 vindicated his decision to return to South Africa after he battled to settle in an attempt to make it on the European Challenge Tour.

But Centurion Country Club local Darren Fichardt was unable to capitalise on his fiorst-round lead, and he followed his opening 65 with a one-over 73, which dropped him into an early share of fourth with Albert Pistorius at six-under for 36 holes, one behind Doug McGuigan, who played with Van Zyl and carded a 68 to go with his opening 69.

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