Vaughn van Deventer fired a four-under-par 67 on Tuesday to lead a tournament into the final round for the first time as a professional. He reached the 36-hole mark in nine-under-par 133, giving him a three-stroke edge in the IGT Chase to #3 Reading on the par-71 Reading Country Club.
It was the joint best round of the day – last week’s IGT Chase to #2 State Mines winner, amateur Casey Jarvis matched it – as Van Deventer added to his opening 66 to overtake first-round leaders Yurav Premlall and Samuel Simpson, who each carded level-par 71 to go with their opening 65s.
“Making only two bogeys today was the key,” said Van Deventer, who made four in his topsy-turvy opening round. And while there were two eagles in that first round, there were six birdies in the second as consistency came more easily. “I tried to play for par today, and take the chances that came my way,” he added.
It was an all-round effort in which his work off the tee was particularly rewarding. “I’m not missing many fairways,” he said. “Ball striking is important, but so is putting. I had two three-putts today. I found reading the downhill puts tricky.”
After keeping his card blemish-free in round one, the amateur Premlall balanced three bogeys with three birdies in his outing on Tuesday, while Simpson, also an amateur, had two bogeys and a double to go with his four birdies.
They are followed in fourth place by the country’s number one amateur, Jarvis, while Benoni Country Club amateur Ryan van Velzen shares fifth with women’s professional Casandra Hall. Van Velzen was level-par after his opening 68, while Hall went one-under in round two to reach the cut at three-under.
For Van Deventer, going into the final round with the lead is something he is relishing. “I’ll just try and play regulation golf with a three-shot lead,” he said. “I’ll keep it straight off the tee and concentrate on my own game.
“That’s something I took from my first session with a sports psychologist last Friday. I normally have a level head, but now I feel like my head’s in the right place.”