Sunshine Tour

Haindl back in mix at Arabella

2016-08-19 19:04
Alex Haindl (Gallo Images)
Kleinmond - Alex Haindl relished every step of his round on Friday as he moved to the top of the second round leaderboard in the R700 000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Arabella Country Estate.

He carded a six-under-par 66 to move to eight-under for the tournament and a two-stroke lead over first-round leader Neil Schietekat. And, since his fine share of 10th in the Joburg Open, it’s only his second cut made in a year that looked as if it might be lost to the back surgery he had last year.

“It’s a great round,” he smiled.

“I felt pretty good out there all day. This golf course is so tough, you’ve just got to hang in there the whole day, so anything under 70 is great. I felt in a good place mentally, and just being comfortable out there helps.”

He must have felt frustrated initially: After a birdie on the first, he made back-to-back bogeys on the next two holes. But things quickly clicked into gear, with three birdies and an eagle on his way to the turn, and then two more on his way in saw him grab the lead ahead of the cut.

For one of the hardest working players on the Sunshine Tour, it has been a tough road.

“Since my back surgery last year, it’s been really hard getting back,” he said.

“The first three or four months back, I had one or two good events. It was hard to get back in there. It was hard to go out and trust my body again - just trust that I could play the way I used to play.

“I had four months when I couldn’t touch a club at all. I was in bed for three or four months after my surgery, and that was really tough. Before the surgery, I had quite a stretch that I was out as well. So it was almost like trying to learn to swing again. Now it’s great. It feels good and I’ve been working really hard in the gym. It looks like it’s coming together.

“It’s almost like giving myself a new baseline to start working from. I got to the stage during 2013, 2014 and 2015 where I couldn’t play for more than a week at a time. There even stages when I would walk 200 metres and that was me done - I was in too much pain.

“After the surgery, I haven’t had the pain again. And I can start working really hard again the way I want to, not having to be scared of that flinch when the pain comes,” he added.

Behind him, Schietekat had slipped to two-over for his round after 12 holes, but he pulled things back on track with three birdies in his final six holes to slip into second. Christiaan Bezuidenhout was on third on five-under, while Keith Horne and Jaco Ahlers shared fourth on four-under.

But it will be all eyes on Haindl in the final round, to see if he can play his way to a second Sunshine Tour title. It’s been over 10 years since he won his first and only one.

“I’m sure I’m going to be a little bit nervous tomorrow - that’s natural,” he said.

“But I’m looking forward to it. I’m feeling comfortable so I’ll go out there and play the course and see what I can do.”

Scores:

136 - Alex Haindl 70 66

138 - Neil Schietekat 67 71

139 - Christiaan Bezuidenhout 70 69

140 - Keith Horne 70 70, Jaco Ahlers 71 69

141 - Vaughn Groenewald 68 73

142 - Bryce Easton 70 72, Doug McGuigan 70 72, Merrick Bremner 76 66, Ruan de Smidt 74 68

143 - Stefan Engell Andersen 68 75, Jacques Kruyswijk 69 74, Jean-Paul Strydom 70 73, Colin Nel 72 71, Pieter Kruger 72 71

144 - Danie van Tonder 71 73, Wallie Coetsee 71 73, Mark Murless 74 70, Jason Froneman 70 74, Justin Harding 73 71

145 - Henry Featherstone 71 74, Jonathan Agren 80 65, Louis de Jager 74 71, Theunis Spangenberg 68 77, Anthony Michael 72 73

146 - Tyrone Ferreira 76 70, Jared Harvey 74 72, Andrew Curlewis 70 76, Allan Versfeld 73 73, Ockie Strydom 71 75, Breyten Meyer 72 74

147 - Charl Coetzee 69 78, Le Roux Ferreira 76 71, JJ Senekal 76 71, Heinrich Bruiners 76 71, Christiaan Basson 77 70

148 - Gideon Pienaar 76 72, Keenan Davidse 71 77, Jake Redman 73 75, Mark Williams 71 77, MJ Viljoen 71 77

Missed the cut:

149 - Gert Myburgh 75 74, Callum Mowat 78 71, Titch Moore 71 78, Jason Viljoen 74 75, Antonio Rosado 72 77, Peter Karmis 74 75, Tyrone Mordt 75 74, Madalitso Muthiya 76 73, Erik van Rooyen 77 72

150 - Dayne Moore 78 72, Warren Abery 73 77, Alan Michell 73 77, Stephen Ferreira 76 74, Oliver Bekker 76 74, Ryan Tipping 73 77

151 - Nic Henning 77 74, Ruan Pretorius 78 73, Lyle Rowe 72 79, Drikus van der Walt 75 76, Wynand Dingle 74 77

152 - Derick Petersen 76 76, Tyron McComb 76 76, Allister de Kock 76 76, Stuart Smith 75 77

153 - Lindani Ndwandwe 72 81, Drikus Bruyns 77 76

154 - Jacquin Hess 75 79, Rourke van der Spuy 77 77, Matthew Carvell 81 73, Bryn Flanagan 78 76

155 - Steven Ferreira 80 75, Neal Herman 77 78

157 - Dwayne Basson 78 79

158 - Teaghan Gauche 78 80, Jeff Inglis 78 80

160 - Trevor Mahoney 82 78, Gerrit Foster 79 81

161 - Jason Diab 79 82, Ben Fouchee 77 84, Greg Bentley 80 81

162 - Shane Granger 79 83

163 - PH McIntyre 78 85

165 - Jeff Hopkins 82 83

170 - Johan Engelbrecht 83 87

173 - PJ Woest 79 94

WDN - Bryce Bibby 82

DSQ - Darren Tibshraeny 86

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  golf
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