Jaco Van Zyl made the most of the calmer afternoon conditions at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation to card a four-under-par 68 that sees him share third place at The K Club.
“It was nice to wear my sunglasses for most of the round, I didn’t quite expect that. So we’ve been very kind with the weather. It’s a great golf course – it’s a test from the first tee shot to the last putt – you know I didn’t hit it all the great today but I still managed to get it under-par,” said Van Zyl.
With the rain subsiding in the afternoon, Van Zyl only needed to cope with the strong winds whipping around the famous Ryder Cup layout.
“It picked up quite a lot. You know we had some really horrendous conditions last week in Mauritius, so you know it’s kind of par for the course right now. The first couple of holes felt like a little breeze compared to last week,” explained Van Zyl.
In only his seventh European Tour start this year, Van Zyl has had time off to hone his game and recharge the batteries before a busy mid-year campaign.
“I’ve been playing nicely. I haven’t played much the first part of the year and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it and get some nice momentum going,” he said. “I think 90 percent of the golf here is literally dependant on the weather. There’s not much work to be done this afternoon and we’ll see what Mother Nature has got intended for us tomorrow,” added Van Zyl.
Van Zyl sits three strokes behind Masters Champion Danny Willet who carded a seven-under-par 65, and one stroke back from world number three Rory McIlroy.