Sweet round for Lyle as he takes lead at Simola

Lyle Rowe carded a bogey-free five-under-par 67 on Thursday to move to seven-under-par and the early second-round lead of the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Simola Golf Estate.

The Port Elizabeth professional has played quite a bit of golf on the 6,401-metre layout, and he used his local knowledge to good effect ahead of the bad weather which has been forecast for the rest of the day in the R540,000 tournament.

“I was just nice and consistent,” he said. “Hitting the fairways and greens, and making a couple of putts, so it was very nice.”

He shared the clubhouse lead with Theunis Spangenberg and Jean Hugo, who signed for a second-round 69, and he said the same thing about the course: “You can’t use driver off every hole – in fact, you can’t even use three-wood sometimes,” he said. “I took irons off some tees just to get myself into the right positions.”

Spangenberg joined the three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard with a round of 67 to match Rowe’s effort. It included seven birdies and two bogeys.

Lower down the leaderboard, the best round of the day was equalled by Zimbabwe’s Ryan Cairns. His efforts moved him to level-par for the tournament.

Branden Grace, the man who was in second place overnight, had a forgettable day with his three-over-par 75 dropping him to three-under for the tournament.

“It was one of those days when nothing went right,” he said. “But, at three-under, and on a course where low scores are possible, I’m not out of it.”

Rowe, who turned professional in 2009, has his first top-10 finish on the Sunshine Tour under his belt this year – a share of sixth in the Nashua Golf Challenge in May – and is hoping a maiden professional victory is just around the corner.

“I hope so,” he said. “The ball-striking is there, and I just have to get some putts to fall now. That’s the difference between today and some other days.”

© 2016 Sunshine Tour. All rights reserved. Website constructed by OCS Sport