By Matthews Mfubu (Fullpage Media and Communications)
A second round of one-under-par 71 in the Altron Big Easy Tour event at Huddle Park Golf Club took Andre van Dyk’s tournament total to 11-under and helped him to a one-shot lead on Tuesday.
Van Dyk brought a four-shot lead into moving day and teeing off in the afternoon, the 22-year-old had his work cut out for him. From the chasing field to the windy weather, Van Dyk had it all to contend with. Starting his round on the back nine and when the wind had picked up on Tuesday, Van Dyk bogeyed his first hole. He didn’t let the faulty start get to him, though, and made five straight pars as he sought to avoid more big numbers.
His patience was eventually rewarded when he made an eagle on the par-five 16th – his seventh – and followed that up with back-to-back pars to turn in 35.
“I was a little unfortunate on the first hole and made a bogey there,” said Van Dyk after a testing outing. “But, I thought the greens were tricky today and the pins were definitely tougher than yesterday. I am happy with how I stayed steady and kept on hitting greens and making pars. The putter was a bit cold today, but you can’t expect to have things go your way every day. I am happy to go into the final round with a one-shot lead.”
After the turn, the Orkney Golf Club player, Van Dyk, made five pars from the first to the fifth hole of the golf course before making his first birdie of the day. His joy, however, was short-lived and he dropped on his 17th hole to seal a round of 71. His efforts in the first two days have seen him top the leaderboard ahead of the final round here.
“It’s hard to stay patient when you have a lot of birdie opportunities and you miss them,” said Van Dyk of his homeward nine. “It’s tough to just relax and say ‘let’s keep going’. You just want to make birdies and there were a lot of birdies out there today. But, my caddie helped me a lot today and I am very happy with how it all went because it was tough.”
The final round promises to be a true spectacle because just a single stroke off the lead lurk Luan Steenkamp and Xander Basson. Steenkamp was particularly impressive on day two, carding a near-perfect eight-under 68 to move to a share of second with Basson. Steenkamp made five birdies, two eagles and a solitary bogey en route to his 64.
“I was happy with every aspect of my game today,” Steenkamp mused. “I mean, you can’t shoot a 64 and then complain. I made one drop today, so it was not bad. I am happy to be in contention and I am looking forward to giving it a go again tomorrow.”
Stals Swart, Jason Roets and Zimbabwe’s Visitor Mapwanya share fourth on eight-under-par and just three shots behind Van Dyk. Ruan Groenewald, on seven-under-par, lies seventh on the leaderboard while member of the Papwa Sewgolum Class Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Ethan Smith, Luke Trocado and Paul Boshoff share eighth on six-under-par for the week.