Simpson, Groenewald hang on to Kyalami lead as De Smidt slips

Dec 12, 2023 | Big Easy Tour, Featured

By Matthews Mfubu (Fullpage Media and Communications)

Royal Cape Golf Club’s Samuel Simpson shrugged off a triple-bogey on Tuesday on his second hole to shoot three-under 69 on day two of the Altron Big Easy Tour event to take his tournament total to nine-under while keeping his place atop the leaderboard at Kyalami Country Club.

Starting on the 10th, Simpson made par on his first hole but found himself in trouble when he made a triple-bogey seven on the par-four 11th. He found a bit of happiness on the par-five when he birdied that hole but those gains would soon be taken from him, thanks to a drop on the 14th. Again, the 21-year-old Simpson proved himself a steady performer and sank another birdie on 15. He backed that up with a brace of birdies on 17 and 18 to turn in 33.

“I just had a poor tee shot on my second hole; I just pulled it to the left and played percentage and chipped out. Then knocked it long left off the green and I was short-sided and ended up making seven,” Simpson said, detailing the factors that led to that triple-bogey.

“It was not the best of starts but I just reminded myself that I have been playing well and I have been consistent. I knew that if I birdied the par-fives coming (I still had four par-fives to play) and I birdied those. Then I just tried to keep the mistakes off the scorecard. So, three-under after a good round yesterday, I’ll take it. I learnt my lessons on 11 and hopefully, I can take those into tomorrow’s round.”

Simpson made three birdies on the homeward stretch to seal a round of 69. He co-leads with Coert Groenewald, who shared the overnight lead with Simpson and Ruan de Smidt. Groenewald also backed up his opening 66 with a 69 of his own to also get his total to nine-under.

They hold a slim one-shot lead over Makhetha Mazibuko. The member of the Papwa Sewgolum Class carded his second successive 68 to total eight-under-par as he chases his first win on this circuit.

De Smidt slipped to a share of fourth on seven-under after he shot 71 in round two. He shares that spot with Gerard du Plooy whose 68 on Tuesday left him just two shots off the pace. Tying the sixth spot on the leaderboard and on six-under for the week is the duo of Marcel Steyn Scholtz and Phillip Geerts.

Dayne Moore, Franklin Manchest and Leon Vorster make up the top 10 leading players on five-under ahead of the final round in Kyalami.

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