Putting has Da Silva feeling chipper in Africa Open

Adilson Da Silva chipped in twice on his homeward nine on Friday to finish the delayed opening round of the Africa Open Golf Challenge at 10-under-par 62 for a four-stroke lead.

He holed his chip shot on the 488-metre 15th and then his chip on the 18th nestled into the hole to give him a commanding edge of second-placed Jaco van Zyl.

He admitted his late start on Thursday – after a two-and-three-quarter-hour delay brought on after high winds made it impossible for play to continue – gave him an advantage over the morning field in the first round, and that advantage continued on the second day of the €1-million tournament co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour as cool, overcast conditions and receptive greens aided his cause.

“I got a good break yesterday,” he said. “It was extremely hard out there for the morning field, and then I got the break and I just started making some putts.”

Besides the two greens where he chipped it in and didn’t need to use his putter, it was putting that brought about Da Silva’s best-ever round as a professional, surpassing the course-record equalling 63 he fired in the closing round of the Sun City Golf Challenge at Gary Player Country Club in 2011.

“I somehow just felt the pace, and my caddie and I are reading the greens very well,” he said. “My putting’s been letting me down lately, and it just came alive. I must have had 23, 24 putts, which must make it my best round in putting. I was averaging 32 putts a round in Asia last year.”

The second round got underway on Friday, as players battled to make up the time lost to the wind on Thursday.

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