By Matthews Mfubu (Fullpage Media and Communications)
Toto Thimba Jnr backed up his opening round of 61 with an equally impressive six-under-par 66 on day two of the Altron Big Easy Tour tournament held at Dainfern Golf Estate to take his total to 17-under and three shots clear of the field ahead of the final round.
“It feels like I’m playing the kind of golf I know I can play, solid golf,” said Thimba after his second-bogey-free round here at Dainfern. “I’m driving it really well and when I find a bit of trouble, I am able to play myself out of it. Today, I struggled with the putter on the back but could still make the important putts.
“I missed a lot of short putts because I struggled reading the greens. Other than that, I think I played solid golf and hit the golf ball very well. So, as I said, this week kind of reminded me of my good days when I was playing good golf. I’m glad I am playing well again and I feel like it will be a good week this week.”
Thimba started his second round from the 10th tee and made eight straight pars and a solitary birdie. Coming home, the Silver Lakes Country Club player, Thimba Jnr, got things going. He made three birdies from the second – his 12th hole – through the fourth, and then an eagle on the par-five eighth before closing off with a par.
While Thimba may be eyeing his first Sunshine Tour win since 2019, he is aware of the chasing pack led by Henning du Plooy whose near-perfect 66 catapulted him to 14-under-par and three shots off the pace.
“I have played very well so far this week,” said Du Plooy, “I have been hitting the ball solidly and the putter has been working. I am very excited to be challenging this week. My mental game has been very good this week and I think I have managed the golf course well. The key for me has been keeping the ball in play because things get tricky if you miss a lot of fairways.
“The greens here are so receptive and soft. I can play a bit more aggressively and attack a few more pins but as long as you keep it in play off the tee, you can score well. This is not a very long golf course. The final round is going to be exciting because you can see there are players with some brilliant scores this week. But, I can only concentrate on what I am able to do and not what everyone else is doing.”
Mauritius’ Pierre Pellegrin and veteran campaigner Ruan de Smidt share the third spot on 13-under-par for the week while young sensation Samuel Simpson of Royal Cape Golf Club, along with GolfRSA amateur, Oliver Goldhill, and Fancourt’s Noel Anderson share fifth on 12-under-par.
Yurav Premlal, Warwick Purchase, Leon Vorster and fourth-ranked amateur Pascal Gunther make up the top 10 leading players on a tournament total of 11-under-par.