Van der Walt makes headlines

2012-05-10 18:25
Drikus van der Walt (Gallo Images)
Knysna - Drikus van der Walt might not be leading after Thursday’s second round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Simola Golf and Country Estate, but his course record 62 certainly got its fair share of attention.

The 21-year-old Sunshine Tour rookie finds himself in a share of 13th behind Jake Redman’s 36-hole tally of 11-under-par 133, but his round was his best ever and it turned his fortunes around in the tournament.

“I always seem to struggle to get off to a good start,” said Van der Walt, who has had to pre-qualify for each of the events he has played in so far.

And he slumped to an opening 78 in the first round of the R600 000 event at Simola before the floodgates opened and he seemed unable to put a foot wrong as he made eight birdies and an eagle on his way to his extraordinary total.

“I started off kind of slow - par-par-par - and then all of a sudden three birdies came from nowhere,” he said, “and I started making some putts eventually.”

That was something of an understatement: From his fourth to his 12th – he started his round on the 10th – he needed only one putt each time, and it was during that stretch that he made his eight birdies. That included five in a row around the turn.

“Then there were three difficult holes in a row on four, five and six,” he said. “They’re tough, so I was happy with pars, although I did have opportunities. I left two putts short, and then I got lucky on eight when I hit a nice shot in there which came down the slope to two feet and I tapped it in for eagle.”

Up ahead, Redman had an impressive round of his own as he went eight under par for a 64, which put him into a two stroke lead over Vaughn Groenewald.

The 25-year-old Redman also made eight birdies and an eagle – the latter courtesy of a chip in on the 18th – but two bogeys kept him from matching Van der Walt’s extraordinary round.

They did, however, give him the lead in an event he would dearly love to claim for his maiden professional victory as it is within a driver and a wedge from his home club at Fancourt in George.

And Groenewald, who is just two tournaments into a swing change, battled to a one-over 37 in his opening nine before coming home with five birdies and no drops for a 68 and a shot at the man who was a rookie while Groenewald was in his 15th year on the Sunshine Tour.

“If I don’t have it now, then I will never have the mental stability that I will need to have tomorrow,” said Groenewald. “You must just never give up.”

Redman recognises the difficulty he will face in closing: “I’m going to have to take it one shot at a time because the biggest thing is to not get ahead of myself.”

And for Van der Walt, it’s about riding this wave he’s on now. “I always knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t think it was going to be this tough,” he said. “But it’s a good reality check – you’ve got to play some good golf.”

Scores (RSA unless specified)

133 - Jake Redman 69 64
135 - Vaughn Groenewald 67 68
136 - Justin Harding 69 67, Titch Moore 68 68, Anthony Michael 70 66
137 - Louis de Jager 70 67
138 - James Kamte 70 68, Neil Schietekat 68 70, Bryce Easton 66 72, Albert Pistorius 66 72, Trevor Fisher Jnr 71 67
139 - Ulrich van den Berg 71 68, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 71 68
140 - Drikus van der Walt 78 62, Ruan de Smidt 68 72, Merrick Bremner 69 71, Peter Karmis 69 71
141 - Christiaan Basson 70 71, Andrew Georgiou 69 72, Steven Ferreira 72 69, Branden Grace 70 71, Keenan Davidse 69 72, Louis Calitz 71 70
142 - Ross Wellington 69 73, David Ryan 66 76, Mark Williams 72 70, JJ Senekal 71 71, Jacques Blaauw 70 72, Jaco Ahlers 73 69
143 - Chris Swanepoel 72 71, Charl Coetzee 72 71, Dean Burmester 74 69, Jean Hugo 71 72
144 - Lean Boezaart 74 70, Alan McLean (SCO) 76 68, Desvonde Botes 73 71, Johan du Buisson 71 73, PH McIntyre 72 72, Lyle Rowe 71 73, Alan Michell 73 71, Ryan Strauss 72 72, Mark Murless 73 71
Missed the cut:-
145 - Doug McGuigan 71 74, Oliver Bekker 72 73, Heinrich Bruiners 72 73, Graham van der Merwe 74 71
146 - Blanche Lamprecht 71 75, Danie van Tonder 74 72, Andrew Curlewis 73 73, Des Terblanche 74 72, Ryan Thompson 75 71, Ryan Tipping 70 76, Derik Ferreira 74 72
147 - Matthew Carvell 73 74, Morne Buys 76 71
148 - Mark Fensham 72 76, Riekus Nortje 70 78, Bruce McDonald (ZIM) 75 73, Colin Nel 71 77
149 - Ockie Strydom 75 74
150 - Grant Muller 75 75, Andre Cruse 77 73, Brandon Pieters 75 75
151 - Nic Henning 73 78, Theunis Spangenberg 75 76
152 - Grant Veenstra 72 80, Dean O'Riley 75 77
153 - Callie Swart 76 77, Divan Gerber 73 80
154 - Hendrik Buhrmann 77 77
155 - Lindani Ndwandwe 77 78, Divan van den Heever 81 74


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