The Danie van Tonder who came close to winning the 2014 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit reeled off an astonishing 362 birdies in 85 rounds of golf. That Danie van Tonder was back on display on Friday in the second round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Sishen Golf and Country Club.
He carded a blistering seven-under-par 65 to climb into contention, and he had nine birdies on his card. But for a horrible double-bogey seven on the 15th, he would have been better placed to mound a final-round challenge on leader Theunis Spangenberg.
Back in 2014, his total birdie haul was 18 better than the next best player, Jean Hugo. And nine birdies in his second round in Kathu were enough to bring a smile to his face, despite the double-bogey.
“The last five or six weeks, I’ve been playing much better golf,” he said. “It feels like I’m back to my old self. I’m hitting fairways and I’m hitting it straight and long, and I’m putting well.
“I’m making such a lot of birdies that I feel as if I can go low every time I play. Yesterday I had some bad luck on a few holes with putts that didn’t drop – some putts stayed straight and some turned a bit too much – but today my caddie and I read the greens a bit better. But I was also hitting it close to the hole today,” he added.
So what happened with the double-bogey? “I tried to go Tiger-line over the right trees. It hit a tree and landed under the tree in a hole. I thought I was unlucky to not get a drop from the hole. From there, I just hit it to the next hole. Then I chipped out to the fairway, and proceeded to the bunker next to the green. I got out of the bunker and had a nice two-putt – so that was an adventurous seven,” he laughed.
The players ahead of him for tomorrow’s final round had better beware if he gets on a roll again.