The proverbial ‘moving day’ of a tournament is the third day of play, however all four days the Investec Royal Swazi Open could be seen as an opportunity for players to jump up the leaderboard, thanks to the modified stableford format being used at Royal Swazi Spa Country Club.
Rourke van der Spuy held his nerve to card a six-under-par 66 in round three that saw him capture an early clubhouse lead on 29 points. “Yesterday I got off to a good start and kind of finished poorly, so today it wasn’t on my mind, but it was nice to close one out today,” he said.
The modified stableford format rewards aggressive play as players can register as much as eight points to their name on a single hole and eagles are worth a leaderboard-jumping five points.
Royal Swazi Spa Country Club is the perfect partner for such a format, and van der Spuy says it truly is driver’s golf course. “You kind of want to hit driver as much as you can, but that also brings you closer to the greens. The greens are quite firm so again, you kind of running that risk of trying to stop it quicker, but it’s a driver course out here, for most of the guys I think,” he said.
Van der Spuy looks to be building on some form after a tie 10th finish in the Zambia Sugar Open and he is enjoying the thrill of contending once again. “After the break, we went to Zim and I wasn’t hitting the ball very well, and I slowly started to find some form over the weekend in Zambia. It’s just slowly getting into a rhythm and finding the tempo is really what I’m focusing on this week,” he said.
Setting a mental target in the modified stableford format is a far more complicated prospect than doing so in a regular stroke play event, but van der Spuy says has his mind made on what will be good enough come tomorrow. “I think I’m at 29 points now. My goal was to try and get to 30 and then you want to post something mid 40’s to give yourself a chance. But 15 points again tomorrow and we’ll be smiling,” he said.