Versfeld hunting second Vodacom Origins title

Allan Versfeld produced his best round at The Links Fancourt with a 66 that earned him a two-stroke lead going into Friday’s final round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final.

Versfeld heads the field on nine under par, with Alex Haindl on seven under after a 67, Divan van den Heever at six under after a 71, and three-time European Tour winner Branden Grace on five under following a 72.

On a day of intermittent rain but still no wind, Versfeld took advantage with four birdies in his first six holes. He started the back nine equally well with three birdies in the first four. Then he eagled the par-five 16th and birdied 18. But the par-threes at eight and 17 took three shots off his score.

“I made double bogey on eight. So when I got to 17 I was in between clubs. I went for a hard eight iron, but didn’t commit to it and hit it right,” he said.

There was also some indecision about his approach into the par-five 16th, but this time it worked in his favour.

“I was in between hitting a hard four iron or a rescue. I went with the hard four iron and it came off great. I had a putt from about 10 feet for eagle and holed it.”

Versfeld is hunting his second victory on the Vodacom Origins series, and is relishing having the experienced Simon Masilo as his caddie. Masilo is Ernie Els’s regular caddie whenever he plays in South Africa, and his experience has been key to Versfeld’s understanding of The Links.

“I’ve played quite a few rounds here, but this is by far my best round here. It helps to have Simon on the bag. He tells you where and where not to hit it. You feel so much more comfortable, and it feels like you can actually play this course now. This is our fourth tournament together and it’s going really well.”

Haindl certainly showed a greater understanding of this layout with his bogey-free 67. “That was the key – no bogeys. In the first round I made four drops of which three were quite stupid. I tried to keep those off the card today and just played solid. I think the rough is also a bit more forgiving than usual. You can still play it out of some spots, whereas before you couldn’t even try.”

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