Many of Chris Swanepoel’s best performances have come in breezy conditions, and with the wind picking up during the second round of the R700,000 Sun Boardwalk Challenge at Humewood Golf Club, his three-under-par 69 put him in an early one-stroke lead.
One of his three Sunshine Tour victories came at Arabella down in the windy Western Cape, and many of his top finishes have come at coastal course – most notably the one which brought him his biggest pay cheque, his share of fourth in the 2010 Africa Open.
“I love it here at Humewood,” said Swanepoel, echoing the sentiments of just about every Sunshine Tour professional playing in the event. “It’s always nice playing something different. I always like playing on links, and I like playing in the wind – it makes things a bit tougher. When things are tougher, I think you focus harder.”
Even with the wind blowing, Swanepoel was not convinced his eight-under-par total for 36 holes would hold up for the lead by the end of the round. “There are holes where you can make birdies,” he said. “There’s lots on the back nine – all the par-fives – and 16 is also a shortish one. Then you’ve got the seventh which is downwind.”
His own game has been missing just one element which finally fell into place: “I’ve been hitting the ball well for quite a while. I’ve just been struggling with the putting,” he said. “But I’ve putted really well for the last two days. I just missed two shortish ones which gave me two three-putts, but for the rest, I’ve made a couple of long ones – so it’s nice putting again! My dad helped me quite a lot.”