Golf

Bekker in contention

2011-10-29 19:29
Johan Bekker (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Johan Bekker’s bunker practice paid off as he holed out from the sand to eagle the 15th on Sunday on his way to a share of second after the second round of the R600 000 BMG Classic at Glendower Golf Club.

“I’ve been practicing my bunker shots a lot with my coach Hendrik Buhrmann,” said Bekker, “and this one just seemed to suit my eye.”

He carded a second-round 70 to move to five-under 139 for the tournament, one stroke behind leader Bradford Vaughan as the 54-hole tournament heads into its final day.

He had two bogeys and two birdies in his round, and it was the birdie on the third which caught the eye: “That came after I hit a great four-iron right into the wind,” he said. “And the greens here are great. If you roll the putts right, it’s always going to go in.”

The 26-year-old Bekker has had a quiet start to his professional career: He has just three paydays in 17 tournaments, but three top-15 performances on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour presented by Stonehage have boosted his confidence.

“I led the Suncoast Classic in the first round,” he said, “and that has made me feel more comfortable here.”

He slipped to an 87 in the second round last week after his opening 67, but he held firm in blustery conditions on the 6,914-metre Glendower layout to set up a shot at victory.

Bradford Vaughan followed up his opening 68 with a battling 70 which gave him a one-stroke advantage at the top of the leaderboard.

Joining Bekker at five-under was another player who found the Big Easy Tour helped his cause on the Sunshine Tour: Ockie Strydom carded a fine five-under-par 67 to climb to second and a place in the final grouping in the final round.

“I’m pleased to have put a round like that together,” said Strydom, who had four top-10s on the nursery tour and another in the Tour Championship.

Bekker and Strydom held a one-stroke edge over Shaun Norris in fourth place, while a big group of seven players shared fifth at three-under for the tournament.

In that group was defending champion Brandon Pieters, who kept himself in the hunt with a gritty 72, but the man he beat in a playoff to take the title last year, Ben Mannix, missed the cut as he slumped to a 78 in the second round.

Also on three-under was rookie Allan Versfeld: The leader of the 2011 Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year race continued his superb recent form with the best round of the day. His six-under-par 66 included eight birdies and two bogeys.

Last week’s Suncoast Classic champion Darren Fichardt was also on three-under at the cut, and Jean Hugo, who has won three titles on the tour this year, was on two-under and in contention.

Scores (RSA unless specified):
138 - Bradford Vaughan 68 70
139 - Ockie Strydom 72 67, Johan Bekker 69 70
140 - Shaun Norris 69 71
141 - Christiaan Basson 70 71, Ulrich van den Berg 67 74, Brandon Pieters 69 72, Allan Versfeld 75 66, Michael Scholz 71 70, Darren Fichardt 69 72, JG Claassen 72 69
142 - Jean Hugo 74 68, Steven Ferreira 70 72, Chris Swanepoel 70 72
143 - Jaco Ahlers 70 73, Jake Roos 74 69, Martin Maritz 73 70, Darryn Lloyd 71 72, Louis Calitz 76 67, Adrian Ford 72 71, James Kamte 72 71, PH McIntyre 69 74, Ryan Thompson 70 73
144 - Clinton Whitelaw 75 69, Charl Coetzee 73 71, Grant Muller 74 70, Louis de Jager 73 71, Lyle Rowe 73 71, Morne Buys 74 70, Dawie van der Walt 66 78, Bryce Easton 70 74, Brett Liddle 75 69, Vaughn Groenewald 73 71
145 - Alan Michell 74 71, Prinavin Nelson 72 73, Ross Wellington 73 72, Mohamed Tayob 74 71, Oliver Bekker 72 73, Alex Haindl 76 69, Albert Pistorius 74 71, Toto Thimba (Jnr) 74 71
Missed the cut:-
146 - Patrick Spindler 74 72, Lindani Ndwandwe 73 73, Josh Cunliffe 71 75, Colin Nel 72 74, Mark Fensham 73 73, Ryan Hood 74 72, Anthony Michael 73 73, Theunis Spangenberg 74 72
147 - Peter Wilson (ENG) 74 73, Derick Petersen 74 73, Hendrik Buhrmann 74 73, Andre Cruse 73 74, Tyrone Mordt 78 69, Michael Dreyer 72 75, Andrew Curlewis 74 73, Neil Schietekat 75 72, Tyrone Ryan 73 74
148 - Warren Abery 75 73, Divan van den Heever 76 72, Jake Redman 72 76, Matthew Carvell 73 75, Dean O'Riley 74 74, Wallie Coetsee 73 75, Mark Williams 75 73, Stuart Clark (WAL) 76 72, Paul Bradshaw 75 73, Justin Walters 73 75, Andrew Georgiou 75 73, Grant Veenstra 74 74
149 - Dean Burmester 72 77, David Hewan 78 71, Louis Moolman 75 74, Jacques Blaauw 72 77, Desvonde Botes 75 74, Divan Gerber 77 72, Michael du Toit 72 77
150 - Lebo Ramukosi 76 74, Nic Henning 75 75, Ben Mannix (ENG) 72 78, Rossouw Loubser 74 76, John McClean 76 74
151 - Neil Cheetham (ENG) 76 75, Merrick Bremner 77 74, Derek Scullard 72 79, Alexandre Chopard (SUI) 70 81, Ryan Tipping 73 78, Derik Ferreira 74 77, Eugen Marugi 74 77
152 - Bennie van der Merwe 77 75, Omar Sandys 72 80, Trevor Fisher Jnr 73 79, Willie van der Merwe 77 75, Justin Harding 72 80, Doug McGuigan 72 80, Daniel Greene 81 71
153 - Irvin Mazibuko 79 74, Reggie Adams 78 75, Nico van Rensburg 77 76, Walter Els 73 80
154 - Kenneth Dube 78 76, Don Black 75 79, Andre van Zyl 75 79, Gavan Levenson 80 74, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 79 75, Johan Etsebeth 77 77, Ian Hutchings 76 78
155 - JJ Senekal 74 81, Mark Murless 76 79, Ali Tsai 77 78, Lourens Kleynhans 76 79, Wynand Dingle 77 78, Johan du Buisson 77 78, Chris Williams 75 80, Callie Swart 75 80, Garry Hill 77 78
156 - Marius Beukes 79 77, Keenan Davidse 80 76
157 - Vickesh Singh 80 77, Rudy Whitfield 78 79, PG van Zyl 76 81, Christo Pistorius 77 80, Thabang Simon 78 79, JP van der Walt 80 77
158 - Marius Schutte 83 75, Michael McGrady 75 83
159 - Sean Farrell (ZIM) 76 83, TJ Bekker 77 82, Teboho Sefatsa 81 78
162 - Dayne Moore (ZAM) 79 83, Glenn Cayeux (ZIM) 74 88, Jarrod Cole-Edwardes 81 81
164 - Cameron Esau 81 83
166 - Raymond Mathonsi (SWZ) 84 82, Kangwine Chiluba (ZAM) 80 86, Steven Venter 88 78
167 - Tsietsi Chabangu 81 86
168 - Ryan Strauss 88 80, Ryno Rudolph 87 81
169 - Wandile Gininda 85 84
170 - Byron Nel 87 83
175 - Kyle de Klerk 87 88
RTD - Michiel Bothma 81 RTD, Ernest Moloi (LES) 81 RTD
 

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  golf
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