Tjaart hunting in Durban

Afternoon starter Tjaart van der Walt shot 70 in round two of the Suncoast Classic at Durban Country Club to share second place at five-under-par on Friday.

Van der Walt’s two-under-par card secured his share of second with Keenan Davidse, four strokes shy of leader Darren Fichardt ahead of tomorrow’s final round in the R500,000 event.

“I finished with a birdie and that means I will play with Darren (Fichardt) tomorrow, and maybe I can catch him,” said van der Walt, who has recorded 30 top-10 finishes on the Sunshine Tour, but is yet to take a win.

Van der Walt has shown good form throughout the year and includes a tie for seventh at the Joburg Open to his three top-10 finishes on the Sunshine Tour.

He has built up to the Suncoast Classic with strong form on the Asian Tour. “I have been playing solid golf recently, especially at the Indian Open last week, and if I can keep hitting the fairways and greens and sneak a few birdies on him (Fichardt), then you never know,” said van der Walt.

After a quiet front nine with only one birdie and one bogey, van der Walt turned at level-par before carding a hattrick of birdies from the 12th to the 14th.

He had his momentum halted by bogeys at the 15th and 16th; the former came after van der Walt found a difficult lie in a fairway bunker and the latter was carded after a messy three-putt.

Davidse has played steady golf throughout the past two days. During the first round he shot one eagle and two birdies, carded no drops and signed for a well-earned 68.

His second round included a drop at the sixth and a double drop at the 10th, but Davidse stayed cool and took birdie opportunities when they came.

He closed his second round in 71 for a move to five-under, and his calm demeanour under pressure indicated his intention to contend.

Fichardt opened the event with a decent 70, but really shone on day two and signed for his 65 to close the day at nine-under-par, five strokes clear of his chasers.

Warren Abery, a six-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, made no drops on his first nine and turned in 34 for a move to five-under. He struggled after the turn and closed the day at four-under-par.

I’m hitting the ball well, love the golf course, and hopefully tomorrow I can make some birdies and catch Darren,” said Abery, who has recorded top-20 finishes in all of his last three tournaments.

Justin Walters went through the first nine in 32 strokes and eventually signed for 68 and secured his share of fourth.

Steven Ferreira added a 69 to his opening 71 and closed day two at four-under-par after a start on the back nine. He looked set to card 67, but marred his round with a double-bogey at the eighth.

Van der Walt brought good form home from Asia and is hunting a maiden win in Durban.

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