PH pulls clear in Centurion

After carding a second-round 64 at Centurion Country Club on Thursday, PH McIntyre moved to 14-under-par and took an early two-stroke lead ahead of the cut at the Telkom PGA Pro-Am.

“I hit good shots and made good putts. I got a bit scrappy in the middle of the round, but I was able to pull it back nicely because the putter was working so well,” he said.

The 26-year-old is expecting his first child in three months’ time and, knowing what nappies can do to a budget, was determined to do well early on in the season.

“I just need to calm down tomorrow and see what happens,” he said. “I’ve got a small one coming in April, so you’ve got to pick up your goals!”

The Telkom PGA Pro-Am is a pre-cursor to the Joburg Open and Africa Open, both of which are co-sanctioned with the European Tour and carry large prize funds.

The Heidelberg Golf Club professional treated this week’s 54-hole event as the perfect platform to rebuild after the festive break. He was pleased with his morning two-shot lead over Steven Ferreira and Desvonde Botes.

“With these two rounds so far there’s a lot of confidence building and I’d like to keep it up,” said McIntyre. “Hopefully it’s a good year this year. I’m glad this tournament is here so I can build some confidence for the Joburg Open.

“I played well so far, and hopefully I can keep some for tomorrow. We’ll just have to see what happens in the morning.”

Botes plays out of Centurion Country Club and he used his knowledge of the course to card an incredible 10 birdies during the second round. He also made no drops, which resulted in a 26-spot move up the leaderboard

“I played very nicely today. All around a very fun day, because my three-ball had no bogeys and 20 birdies between us, so we all enjoyed it out there.

“It all just fell together, and I’m looking forward to the season after a day like that. It’s always nice having some confidence going into the bigger events, but for now we’ve got to get through tomorrow,” he said.

Ferreira overcame a double at the 12th on his way to a second-round 67, which earned him a share of second. The Reading Country Club player felt at home on the course, which reflected in his 12-under-par, 36-hole score.

“I just had an unfortunate double, which put me off my stride, but I managed to group together and find a birdie at the last hole to reach 12-under.

“It’s good to get yourself up there, and it will be nice to play at the top tomorrow. It’s definitely going to test my nerves, but hopefully I can stick to my game plan and play the shots that need to be played,” he said

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