Roelofsz’s one-stroke lead comes thanks to a gutsy birdie on the par-four ninth hole- his last hole of the day.
“Finishing with a birdie is always nice – especially from where I was. I was quite fortunate to pull it off. It was either going to be a freshy or I was going to hit the perfect shot. Luckily it worked out for me and it was a good finish. I’m happy with the 68,” explained Roelofsz.
A shot-by-shot game plan has yielded two impressive scores, and it’s that approach Roelofsz will carry forward into the final day.
“It was tough today. The game is still good, but I missed a couple putts and made some mistakes on the first five holes. I started with three birdies and then went drop-drop. Like I said, I’m just trying to play it one shot at a time. It’s coming together – leading the tournament so far – but there’s one more day left and we’ll have to see what happens tomorrow,” he said.
Thriston Lawrence and Bryce Easton are the chasing players a shot off Roelofsz, and Lawrence – the 2015 MENA Tour Order of Merit winner – believes patience in the chilly earning morning conditions is key.
“In the mornings you have to stay patient. You know the grass is really wet and the greens are tricky. If you short side yourself you’re not going to have a good chance of making an up and down. You have to plan your game correctly around here and hit the ball in the right spots,” said Lawrence.
After being well placed in the beginning of the year, Lawrence missed three MENA Tour events, and has slipped down the standings in the order of merit.
“Winning would mean a lot. I missed three events on the MENA Tour – I was well placed on the order of merit in the beginning of the year – so a win will obviously be nice and get me back on track,” said Lawrence.
Greg Bentley sits two off the lead, and the man from Zimbabwe says being in contention is something he is thoroughly enjoying.
“It’s nice to contend. I’ve felt like the game has been the all year, bit the scores just haven’t been corresponding. It’s definitely a different feeling when you know you’ve got a chance. You could say that the walk doesn’t feel that tiring. So it’s really nice to be in that position and hopefully we can keep it going for tomorrow,” explained Bentley.
With a R500, 000 prize fund up for grabs, a good finish tomorrow could see players earn some valuable points in this years order of merit, on both the Sunshine Big Easy Tour and MENA Tour.