Wallie Coetsee has been on tour since 1992, but his last victory was 17 years ago at the Namibia Open. In round two of the Mopani Copper Mines Zambia Open on Friday he tied for the lead on 10-under-par and his desire to win came back.
“It’s been 17 years since I won, so I can’t wait for the next one. It’s also been a while since I’ve led after 36 holes, but with 22 years of experience I’m very excited for the weekend,” he said.
Beautiful weather made the walk around Nkana Golf Club enjoyable, but the Jeffrey’s Bay resident found true delight in shooting 69 ahead of a cut to the leading 65 players and those tied on the number. He progresses into the weekend tied for the lead with Theunis Spangenberg.
“I’m attacking it at the moment and I hit driver about eight times today,” Coetsee said. “I like the tight courses where you have to think and I can’t wait for the next two days.”
When asked about the success of older golfers such as Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ernie Els he recalled a chat that he had with Zimbabwean golfing legend Nick Price.
“It’s coming back to the old days when 38 to 42 was your prime,” said 42-year-old Coetsee. “I was on a house boat with Nick Price and he said that at 38 he had a new beginning after winning. You get very patient after waiting for as long as I have, so hopefully I’ll keep scoring and give myself a chance on Sunday.”
Overnight leader Spangenberg maintained the top position after he shot 72 for the second round and the Kathu local was pleased to stay in the mix after shooting 62 on day one.
“I would have taken 72 at the start of the day,” he said. “The putter didn’t work as well as yesterday, but I’m still comfortable and we’re still in there.”
“I played well yesterday, but I had a bit of a struggle today. I’m sitting alright in 24th place, but it would be nice to make the top 10 at my national open. It’s good to have the local support and hopefully I can keep it in play and get the putts to start dropping,” he said.
Coetsee has produced 43 top-10 results in his career, so it was no surprise that he relished the chance to contend this week.
“I’ve played really solidly over the last two days and it’s good to be in this position going into the weekend. I’d like to shoot in the 60s over the next two days, because I think 16-under can win it and we’re on track,” he said.