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Van Zyl in slender lead at Sun City 1

6th June 2019 | Sunshine Tour

Van Zyl in slender lead at Sun City

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Van Zyl in slender lead at Sun City

Jaco van Zyl backed up his opening-round 70 of the Sun City Challenge with an eventful four-under-par 68 to total six-under for the tournament, taking a single-stroke lead into the final round at the Gary Player Country Club.

Starting from the 10th tee in round two, the 14-time Sunshine Tour winner didn’t make a single birdie on that stretch, making a bogey on the 13th, his fourth hole, instead.

“I got off to a slow start this morning,” he admitted, “and I didn’t really get anything going. But I managed to get it back to even-par and then I got on a nice little birdie-run and it swung the momentum a little bit.”

After turning in 37, Van Zyl knew he had to dig deep and produce something special if he had any chance of contending for a win in Sun City, and he did so in some style. He was happy to take par on his 10th hole, the first of the golf course, before going birdie-eagle-birdie to get himself in the mix. He was not finished, however, because after the bogey he made on his 15th hole, he made further gains, birdieing the 16th and the last holes to sign for a 68.

“The game has been there for a while,” he said of the state of his game at present. “I’m just trying to stay patient, work hard on it. There are tell-tale signs of it coming back. I’ve only been at it for seven months, and considering 14 months not playing this game is a really long time. But it’s coming together nicely.”

Hot on his heels and a shot adrift is the defending champion, Neil Schietekat. His blemish-free 69 took his total to five-under for the week and within a real chance of defending the title that ended his half a decade winless run.

He is followed by JC Ritchie who has been in scintillating form, along with exciting rookie, Garrick Higgo at four-under-par and two shots off Van Zyl’s lead. After his impressive 66 in round one, Kyle Barker, a rookie himself, struggled properly in round two, shooting a 75 and dropping his total to three-under for the tournament and lies fifth on the leaderboard.

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