“I’ve played well over the last two days and you always leave a couple out there, but I’m very chuffed with my scoring,” he said.
An early birdie set the tone for his round and he went on to carve out a five-shot lead over Theunis Spangenberg and Steven Ferreira.
“I started with a great birdie at the 11th today, which was my second hole of the round,” said Van den Berg. “The flag was back left and it was tough to get to, and I hit a great shot in there to about eight feet and then made the putt.”
It was a clinical round of six-under-par from the 40-year-old, who played the shorter holes with aplomb.
“I played the par threes in four-under-par today. They’ve got six here, which is two more than most courses, so they’re of real importance,” he said.
The seven-time Sunshine Tour winner was runner up at Wild Coast Sun Country Club last year after the tournament was reduced to 36 holes due to strong winds.
This year the weather has been calm and the scores have reflected that. Van den Berg made the most of his chances on Thursday and hit double figures against par ahead of a cut to the leading 40 players and those tied on the number.
“I’ve put a lot of hard work into my putting over the last few years and I’m seeing the rewards,” he said. “You’re always fighting to find that little feeling that will give you the edge, and I found it on Sunday while hitting some balls. I’ve managed to bring that feeling here and things are going well so far.”
The Sunshine Tour players have a lot of respect for the par-70 course and Van den Berg stayed focused throughout the day. His collected approach helped to keep all but one bogey off his card and he went on to set the early lead on day two.
“It’s one of our grand layouts. The land it traverses is amazing and to build a golf course on these hills is truly magnificent. There are some of the most dramatic golf holes here and it would be in my top five in South Africa, without a doubt,” he said.