Viljoen started the day co-leading with N.J. Arnoldi, Desne Van Den Bergh and Etienne Bond on three-under-par for the tournament, and the 22-year-old battled against the challenging conditions to be the only player under-par for the tournament.
“Yeah I’m happy. It was tough conditions out there. It wasn’t too hot or too cold but the wind was definitely playing a big role and it’s tough to stop the ball on the greens,” explained Viljoen.
As Viljoen’s compatriots battled in the gusting conditions, a measured approach paid off and if he produces more of the same tomorrow he will be tough to beat.
“You just have to try and hit the ball a little bit softer. I don’t really change much, just try hit it a little bit lower and softer,” he said.
Currently lying second on the Big Easy Order of Merit, Viljoen looks to have a promising future. With five top-10s this season, a first win could spark something special as he looks forward to the challenge of the Sunshine Tour.
“I need to start playing well in those as well. I need to try and keep it the same. Obviously there is a bit of a mental change but it’s all the same in the end and it’s all in the mind,” said Viljoen.
With the Sunshine Tour events in mind, Viljoen has sought the help of a sports psychologist and he says it’s a relationship that is building him up to perform more consistently.
“I’m working with a sports psychologist. We talk regularly and try to work out how to think on the golf course. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully it will be a good day.”
Francois Coetzee, Desne Van Den Bergh and N.J. Arnoldi are Viljoen’s closest challengers on one-over-par, while Daniel Hammond – last years Tour Championship winner – is tied for fifth with Jacquin Hess on two-over-par for the tournament.