From Sunshine Tour
Jesper Svensson will take a one-shot lead into the weekend of the Investec South African Open Championship and with young South African Casey Jarvis maintaining his challenge in a group of three players chasing the Swede at the Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate.
Svensson signed for a second round of 67 on Friday to lead on nine under par as he hopes to become only the third Swedish winner of the Investec South African Open and the first since Henrik Stenson in 2012. Mathias Grönberg was the first in 2000.
“It feels great halfway through the tournament and I’m happy to be in a good position going into the weekend,” said Svensson, who teed off his second round on the 10th and made four birdies in his first five holes to set the tone for his charge up the leaderboard.
“I had a hot start and the putter was on fire from the beginning. But it was a long day. It feels like a never-ending golf course out there.”
Behind him is the trio of Jarvis, Italy’s Matteo Manassero and first-round leader Joakim Lagergren of Sweden.
After a 70 to remain in contention, Jarvis is certainly looking forward to a big weekend in front of his home fans.
“I can’t wait to get out there again. I just had a lot of fun with my caddie today and we were very relaxed out there. It felt like another social round out there and I’ll try and approach it the same over the next two days,” said Jarvis, who was level par at the turn before making three straight birdies.
“I didn’t play the best on the front nine and kind of told myself to get going when I got to the turn, and those three birdies really helped.”
Jarvis is doing his best to apply the patience he learnt in a strong season on the European Challenge Tour as he heads into the weekend with a place in South African golf history in sight.
“Patience is key and I think I’m doing that well. It’s a big goal of mine to start well in these first few events of the new DP World Tour season at home and I’m trying to take advantage of that. I’ve put myself in a good position and I’ll give it my all.”
Altin van der Merwe was the only amateur to make the halfway cut of level par as he came through 36 holes on one under par, and he will therefore win the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur in the Investec South African Open.