Stuart Smith knew he had to do something special after his opening 74 in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event presented by Samsung at Vaal de Grace, so he unfurled a superlative nine-under-par 63 on Friday to storm into contention.
That vaulted him to seven-under-par 137 ahead of the cut in the R650,00 54-hole tournament, and while that was a long way off the clubhouse lead of 15-under-par set by Jacques Kruyswijk, it certainly put him in the mix.
“After shooting two-over 74 yesterday, something was sending me a message saying I was lying 88th, so I knew I had to go low today if I wanted to make the cut,” he said.
So he started as if he meant business with a birdie on his first hole, and he followed it with four more on the front nine to turn in 31. “After the front nine, I felt quite confident, so I went onto the back nine intent on making more birdies,” he said. “And once I had a couple of birdies on the first five or six holes, that kind of made me relax slightly more and just play the game.
“I went for the pins. A couple of times, I did put myself in a position where I decided to just go for the middle of the green, but I ended up making one or two of those putts. It was one of those days where I had a good game plan. I stuck to it, and when I was in trouble, I was just sensible.”
A good finish this weekend will likely give him his fourth top-10 finish on the Sunshine Tour, and he will need to take an approach in the final round similar to the one which brought him success in the second round: “It was good fun today,” he said.
Going low always is.