Hot Van Velzen part of 10-man lead halfway through Cape Town Open

Feb 9, 2024 | Featured, Sunshine Tour

From Challenge Tour

South Africa’s Ryan van Velzen, Deon Germishuys, Gerhard Pepler and Rhys West, Englishmen Sam Hutsby, Alfie Plant and James Allan, Haraldur Magnus from Iceland, Finn Tapio Pulkkanen and Frenchman Benjamin Hébert all reached nine-under-par on Friday to share the halfway lead in the Bain’s Whisy Cape Town Open.

The group lead by one from Dane Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen, South African Louis Albertse and Irishman Conor Purcell who share 11th place on eight-under-par.

Van Velzen has won three times on the Sunshine Tour in the past 10 months, and followed up an opening day 68 with a five-under-par 67 late on day two to join the leaders.

The 22-year-old, who will go in search of a maiden Challenge Tour win this weekend, is riding high on confidence following a string of impressive results in recent weeks.

“I’m playing nicely at the moment,” he said. “I think I’m 52 under par for the last 10 rounds this year, so I’m playing really good golf and now I’m looking forward to the weekend.

“It’s quite tight on this course but I’m playing so nicely I think I could probably score on any golf course. I’m running hot on confidence and I’m just going to stick to my guns over the weekend and do what I do best. I’m hitting the driver very straight and in play, and then I’m putting very well too.”

Countryman Germishuys finished in second place at the season-opening SDC Open and continued his fine form by carding five birdies on the front nine – including four in a row from the fourth to the seventh – before playing the back nine to level-par on day two.

24-year-old Pepler was also in contention at the SDC Open before eventually finishing in a tie for 16th, and joined the leaders in Cape Town thanks to a second round 67 that included seven birdies and two bogeys.

West is another that will go in search of a first Challenge Tour win over the weekend. The 35-year-old has gone bogey-free through 36 holes on the parkland layout, and after rounds of 68-67 admits he’s felt at ease so far this week.

“I managed my game really well today,” he said. “I played the course as well as I could with what I was presented with and I’m really pleased with the result so far.

“There were a lot of momentum putts that went in and I managed to go bogey-free again which is always good.

“I’ve got a good friend on the bag, Richard Levi, who used to play cricket for South Africa, and I think just having him on the bag is making me feel relaxed out there.”

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