Blaauw goes low to get into Czech contention

Jun 5, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

As Jacques Blaauw can do, he went low on Saturday in the third round of the Challenge Tour’s D+D REAL Czech Challenge at Golf & Spa Kunětická Hora in Dříteč in the Czech Republic, his six-under-par 66 taking him to and a share of 11th ahead of the final round.

He moved to 10-under for the tournament with eight birdies and two bogeys, and that left him five shots off the lead which was held by Kristian Krogh Johannessen of Norway. He leads by one from Kakko Roope of Finland and France’s Julien Brun.

“I made some putts today, which was something I struggled with over the first two rounds,” said Blaauw after he had opened his campaign with a pair of two-under 70s. “Also, I am hitting my starting lines better off the tee and from the fairways. Yesterday I hit myself in too many fairway bunkers.”

He started fast, with four birdies on the opening nine. They came on the second, sixth, seventh and eighth as he turned on four-under. It was steady until the 13th, when he made another birdie, but then he dropped consecutive shots on 14 and 15. But he regathered himself and made three consecutive birdies for the second time in his round from 16 to the finish.

Just one stroke further back was Oliver Bekker, with a third round of two-under-par 70, in a share of 14th and six shots off the lead.

The other South African who made the cut was Mathiam Keyser, who battled to an 80 in the third round.

For Blaauw, part of the challenge is being away from home for such an extended period. “Playing tournament golf is challenging, especially now in these Covid times,” he said. “We need so much paperwork just to travel. We have a PCR test every week which averages about €135 and we have to stay in a bubble each week. I’m missing my family back home. I will hopefully be back in South Africa for a week from July 12. I will have then been on the road for nine weeks. That’s not ideal when you have a young family.”

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