Wellington grasps his chance in Wild Waves Challenge

Ross Wellington felt his putter start to get hot as he approached the turn on Thursday and exploited that heat to card a second round six-under-par 64 for a share of the clubhouse lead in the Wild Waves Golf Challenge.

He made an eagle and three birdies from the 15th to the 18th after he started his round on the 10th on the par-70 Wild Coast Sun Country Club, and he finished up on a 36-hole score of nine-under-par with first-round leader Trevor Fisher Jnr.

“Making birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie to finish the nine and then making par on one and birdie in two made a big difference,” said Wellington.

He and Fisher had a two-stroke lead over Vaughn Groenewald, with Danie van Tonder and Oliver Bekker in a share of fourth on six-under.

“I’ve felt very comfortable this whole week, really,” said the 31-year-old Wellington. “I had a bit of a lapse of concentration on the third, a par-five which should be a good chance at birdie, and I ended up making six there. But I steadied the ship nicely and I birdied the last hole to give myself a nice chance going into the last round tomorrow.”

Wellington has had three top 10s on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour this year, and he had a shot at winning at Irene Country Club earlier this month. But a final-round 73 rather undid his opening 67, but it has stiffened his resolve to press for his maiden professional victory.

“I haven’t been in this position for a while,” he said, “and this is exciting for me. I’ve been playing well for the past few months and not really had the opportunity to show it, and when I did at Irene, I think I put my foot on the pedal too hard and tried too hard to put another great score together.”

He’ll have the experience of players like Fisher, Groenewald and Bekker to contend with as he tries to rectify that, as well as the mercurial skills of Van Tonder, who, despite a battling par in the second round, could easily go low again. “I need to just let it happen,” said Wellington.

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