He hasn’t made a bogey in 36 holes and Sunshine Tour rookie Rourke van der Spuy leads ahead of the final round of the R700,000 Sun Windmill Challenge after his second-round seven-under-par 65 on Thursday at Bloemfontein Golf Club.
He held a one-stroke edge over local star Dean Burmester, who plays out of the neighbouring Schoeman Park, and first-round leader Callum Mowat, who saw an almost certain two-stroke or more lead – or more – vanish with consecutive double-bogeys in his last three holes.
“Yesterday I was happy with my bogey-free round of 67, and today I’m even happier with my bogey-free round,” said Van der Spuy. “I just kind of kept the ball in front of me. It’s getting a little firm and fast out there. My misses were good and I managed to get it up and down when I needed to.”
The 25-year-old Van der Spuy, who plays out of Durban Country Club, finished fourth in Bloemfontein in January in the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School ahead of turning professional. “I got good omens from playing so well at Q-School here at the beginning of the year,” he said. “The course sets up well for me. I may be coming into a bit of form as well, so the game feels good and it’s a course I feel comfortable on.”
He’s made the cut in his last two tournaments to back up his contention that he is coming into form, and he has a best performance this year of a share of fifth, in May’s Lombard Insurance Classic in Swaziland.
Behind him, Burmester made just a single bogey, on the sixth after he started his round on the 10th. He made it to the turn in six-under 30, and lamented that his putter went cold after the turn.
Mowat looked for all money to be heading for the lead going into the final round, but two loose tee shots on 16 and 17 cost him dearly. And, in the end, even his redeeming birdie on 18 had an element of luck as his approach out of the left rough caught a rake on the edge of the sand trap at the back of the green, giving him at least a look at an eagle.
Mowat had the tougher conditions as the wind picked up in the afternoon, a fact which didn’t escape the attention of Van der Spuy. “It played a little bit tough in the afternoon yesterday, but the guys are playing good golf out there, so you never know what will happen,” he said.
In the end, no-one caught him, and he’s going to give it his all in the final round. “No change tomorrow. Whatever’s got me these scores must be working,” he said.