Andrew Georgiou has been building toward something special over the last four months on the Sunshine Tour and took one step closer to a maiden victory when he shot 67 for round two of the Sun Sibaya Challenge on Thursday.
“Jason Day got the monkey off his back recently, and I’m working for something similar. I’m playing on a different level, but I’ve been there enough times and wanted it, tasted it, almost had it. You have to keep trying and hopefully it happens,” he said.
The 29-year-old rose 12 places up the leaderboard and reached the 36-hole mark on six-under-par, one shot behind leader Jean Hugo.
Georgiou’s 11 top-10s on the Sunshine Tour have not led to a victory and he was hungry to claim top honours at the R700,000 tournament.
“There are so many good players and you need things to go your way a little bit. I think that once it happens you break free, but until then you just keep working at it,” he said.
He put on a gutsy performance while the wind howled on Thursday at Mount Edgecombe Country Club and shot the low round of the day – a flawless 67 – to claim sole second ahead of a cut to the leading 40 players and those tied on the number.
“You learn that you will go through good and bad patches in a tournament. Today I had to put my head down during the middle of the round and stick it out. Then the momentum turned and I birdied my second-last hole to rise into second place,” he said.
Hugo was a cool customer in the breeze and shot level-par 71 to head up the field on seven-under-par. Two weeks ago he won for the 17th time on the Sunshine Tour, equalling Ernie Els for wins on South African soil. He will be a tough to beat in the final round.
Georgiou, now in his fifth year on tour, was ready for the challenge.
“I love it when the wind blows. It takes a different type of game and you have to grind it out, so let it blow tomorrow. It’s not going to be easy, but let’s do it,” he said.
Durbanite Michael Hollick was in third place on five-under-par and the in-form Erik van Rooyen was fourth on four-under. Six players, including Titch Moore and Jared Harvey, were tied for fifth place a further stroke behind the lead.
“I live on the golf course and feel fairly relaxed. My mates will come and watch tomorrow, so it should be a good final round,” said Hollick.