He’s been in South Africa for two years, and now Portugal’s Antonio Rosado finds himself in a share of the 36-hole lead at eight-under-par in the 90-hole Sunshine Tour Qualifying School being played at Bloemfontein Golf Club and Schoeman Park Golf Club.
His battling one-under-par 71 at Bloemfontein took him into a three-way share of the lead with England’s Johnny Evans and South African Andre de Decker, who carded 69 and 68 respectively at Schoeman Park.
“I didn’t play well,” said Rosado, who was the Portuguese national champion in 2009. “I turned in 37 after making a bogey on the fourth, and things started getting a little better on the back nine after I made bogey on 11. I made good birdies on 14, 16 and 17, and then, unfortunately, I couldn’t take advantage of the par-five 18th and only made par there.”
He came to South Africa in 2014, and, because he had no status on the Sunshine Tour, he played on the IGT circuit, winning five times on his way to taking their 2014 Order of Merit.
He gained his Sunshine Tour card in January, when he finished 28th in the Qualifying School, but he was unable to retain it, with just three cuts made during the year and a best performance of a share of 14th in the Sun Fish River Sun Challenge in October.
De Decker also had two bogeys on his card at Schoeman Park, but six birdies saw him card his second consecutive 68. He is returning to golf after a period away from the game since he left Stanford University in the United States.
Evans, who is the pro at Castletown Golf Links on the Isle of Man, took one look at the pound-rand exchange rate and decided to take a month in Bloemfontein playing both courses regularly in an attempt to familiarise himself with them. He made three bogeys in his second round on Schoeman Park, but was able to pick up six birdies in his 69.
The leading trio have a one-stroke edge over Bryandrew Roelofsz and Michael Palmer, after Roelofsz shot a 68 at Schoeman Park and Palmer a level-par 72 at Bloemfontein.
The leading amateur at the 36-hole mark was Altin van der Merwe of Bellville Golf Club in the Western Cape on five-under-par, and he was followed by Sean Olfsen of Germiston Golf Club, local Bloemfontein Golf Club player Ruan Pretorius and South Africa’s number two amateur, Teaghan Gauche, all on three-under.