Schietekat’s 62 brings him halfway lead at Ebotse

Neil Schietekat raced to a 10-under-par 62 on Friday in the second round of the Sunshine Tour’s Gauteng Championship at Ebotse Golf and Country Estate to take a one-stroke lead after 36 holes.

He started out with a regulation par on the 10th, and quickly got his scoring underway with a blitz of five birdies in a row from the 11th. A par on the 16th was followed by another two birdies on 17 and 18 ahead of the turn which came in 29 blows.

“The course was set up for it today,” said Schietekat. “The greens and fairways are soft, and the tees were forward. As is always the case with Ebotse, if there is a bit of a breeze it makes it tougher. But that said, there are some low numbers out there at the moment.”

Perhaps it was the breeze, but he made ‘only’ three birdies on his homeward nine, missing opportunities on both the par-fives on that stretch which could have taken him closer to registering that elusive 59.

But his bogey-free effort was good enough to lift him into a one-stroke lead over CJ du Plessis, who went low himself with an eight-under 64 to reach 12-under for the tournament, and over first-round leader Tristen Strydom, who followed up on his opening 64 with a four-under 68.

Martin Rohwer was on 11-under with his second-round 66, and five players – Jean Hugo, Ruan Conradie, Anthony Michael, Jbe’ Kruger and Hennie du Plessis – were lurking close enough to be very much in contention at 10-under.

For the second week in a row, a cut in a Sunshine Tour tournament fell on a very low number, as players who were four-under and worse missed out on the weekend action. “Everybody is shooting really low scores at the moment and I knew I’d have to go low to be at the top of the leadeboard,” said Schietekat.

Schietekat last won on the Sunshine Tour back in 2018 at Arabella in the Western Cape, his third win on the circuit since he turned professional in 2006. He’s rounding nicely into form with a top-10 finish in last week’s Players Championship.

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