Walters feels it might be his week in Swaziland

Justin Walters hasn’t won since 2004, but he holds an early halfway lead in the R850,000 Investec Royal Swazi Open after making eight birdies in his second round on Thursday.

His lone Sunshine Tour victory came in the 2004 Parmalat Classic, a year after he turned professional.

“I feel like it’s my week this week,” said Walters after he fired eight birdies and one bogey in his second successive round of seven-under-par 65.

The tournament is played on a modified stableford system, with eight points for an albatross, five for an eagle, two for a birdie and none for par. One point is deducted for every bogey and two for double or worse.

So the bogey meant he was in the clubhouse with a four-point advantage over first-round leader Christiaan Basson, who made nine points in his second round with an eagle, three birdies and two bogeys in his three-under 69.

“It was a steady round,” said Basson. “I was battling a bit with the pace of the greens today. I was either hitting them through the break, or not hitting them enough. But I would have taken 28 at halfway if you’d offered it to me though.”

Walters was somewhat surprised by the margin of his lead: “I thought Christiaan would have got more today,” he said, “because he’s been playing really well.”

While Basson was battling, Walters was revelling on the greens. “I putted really well today,” he said. “I made some good putts to save par.”

His single bogey came on the 502-metre 17th, where he picked up an eagle three in the first round.

The old Walters might have brooded on it, but he didn’t let it affect his final hole. “I took it in my stride and just walked up to the next tee.

“This relaxed approach is definitely helping me. I would love to win – I haven’t won since 2004, and I’ve just played myself out of contention in the past,” he said.

Walters’ score was the best of the morning, while Desvonde Botes carded a 13-pointer with his six-under 66 via seven birdies and a bogey. He moved to 21 points for the tournament.

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