Lyle Rowe showed how much he loves playing north of the South African border, and a second consecutive 69 in the second round of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open saw him just three off the pace going into the weekend at Royal Harare Golf Glub.
Rowe won the Zambia Sugar Open in 2014, further north than Harare, but he’s getting his game into gear ahead of the final two rounds in Harare and next week’s visit to Lusaka.
“I seem to play well in Africa,” he said. “I don’t know why – we just go to great places. We get well looked after, we have great hosts – and the weather is also good!”
While he hasn’t set the course alight with brilliant play, it’s his steadiness which is keeping Rowe in the hunt, and just two dropped shots in his opening two rounds is testimony to that. “I’m getting it around,” he said. “I’m not hitting it as I’d like to, but I’m missing it in the right place. I’m managing to make quite a few putts which makes quite a difference. I’m striking the ball quite well, but the shape is not quite there. Fortunately, I know where it’s going, so I can miss it on the right side of the green – that kind of thing. But on the par-fives, I’ve just got to try and make birdie.”
The final two rounds will see him in pursuit of Louis de Jager who was nine-under at the halfway mark in Harare, and of Vaughn Groenewald at seven-under.
“I’m going to take the same kind of play into the weekend,” said Rowe. “I’ll try and take advantage of the par-fives and just keep it in play for the rest. You don’t want to try and overpower the golf course – you’d rather have a shot in the fairway than in the rough.”