Patient George in a healthy lead at Telkom PGA Championship

George Coetzee took a healthy dose of patience from his doctor father in the second round of the Telkom PGA Championship to card an eight-under-par 64 for a share of the halfway lead.

With him at 15-under-par was playing partner Branden Grace, who also signed for a 64.

“My father is on the bag this week,” Coetzee laughed, “and maybe we’ll finish a second tournament together this weekend.”

What the paternal presence of Dr George Coetzee did bring to the George Coetzee junior game was the ability to wait out the dry patches.

After a birdie-less opening six holes in the first round, he reached the sixth hole in round two at level par again. “I just had to be patient again on the first six holes today, and then I started making some putts,” he said.

He certainly did: Two before the turn, which he reached in a respectable 34, and then another six on his way home as he closed in 30.

“Gracie was four shots ahead after eight so I was just chasing him the whole day,” he said. “Having someone to chase with a reasonable score – well, maybe not reasonable – but maybe someone to chase who inspires you play better really helps.”

It helped Grace too: “I was just hanging on in that back nine,” he said, “trying to make another birdie or two while he was going crazy.”

Grace turned in five-under 31 after three birdies and an eagle, and he finished with three more birdies on the back nine to finish his second consecutive bogey-free round.

“I want to try and go the whole tournament without making a bogey,” he said, and who would bet against it as he and Coetzee egg each other on in the final two rounds.

They weren’t the only players to take advantage of the low rough and benign conditions at Country Club Johannesburg: Divan van den Heever and Vaughn Groenewald each made nine-under-par 63s.

Groenewald’s was a flawless effort, which closed with five consecutive birdies, while Van den Heever had an eagle and a bogey mixed in with his eight birdies.

Van den Heever finished the day on 12-under for the tournament in fourth place, and Groenewald moved into a share of eighth with Chris Swanepoel and Garth Mulroy.

In third ahead of Van den Heever was Hennie Otto, who also got in on the low-scoring act with his eight-under 64, leaving him one shot adrift of Grace and Coetzee – but brimming with confidence after his win last week in the Dimension Data Pro-Am.

He will need to find an antidote to the medicine Coetzee is taking. “My Dad’s trying to push me to do better. He’s always saying that I can get another birdie when I make one,” said Coetzee.

That’s not so hard to swallow.

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