Grit from Prinsloo keeps him in front at Serengeti

It was much more of a grind on Wednesday, but Jaco Prinsloo stuck to the task with a gritty one-under 71 and still holds the lead after the second round of the Serengeti Pro-Am Invitational at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.

In colder weather, and with rain about, Prinsloo made just two birdies – one on each nine – and dropped one shot to move to nine-under for the tournament with a format that has the pros battling to work out how to deal with each successive day. The cut to 50 and ties comes now after the second round. That’s followed by a rest day, and then a round on the Serengeti par-three course on Friday, which counts towards the final 90-hole strokeplay event. Then, the final two rounds will be played on the main course on Saturday and Sunday.

“I’m a bit at a loss as to what to do with myself,” chuckled Prinsloo. “I’ll probably go to the course tomorrow anyway, and do what I usually do to work on bits and pieces that are keeping me occupied. And then, no-one knows what to expect from the par-three round, which is very different for all of us. But, to be honest, I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest.”

Perhaps it was weariness which crept into his play in the second round. “I was hitting the ball okay, but I was not getting it close enough to the pins to have many real birdie chances,” he said. “But the pins were a bit tucked, and on some slopes, so it was difficult to get close. And the bogey came from a three-putt, which kind of backs up what I’m saying.”

He finished the day with a one-stroke lead over James Hart du Preez, MJ Viljoen and SA Amateur champion Christiaan Maas. Du Preez held the lead for a while, but, like Prinsloo, he found the going tough on his way to a one-under 71. Viljoen had three bogeys in his three-under 69, and the 17-year-old Maas pieced together a bogey-free 66 to move to eight-under for the tournament.

The round of the day belonged to Riekus Nortje, who came tearing through the field with a bogey-free eight-under 64 to move to seven-under for the tournament in a share of fifth with five other players, including last week’s winner of the Gauteng Championship, Jbe’ Kruger.

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