Golf

Walters, Van Zyl lead Pro-Am

2011-09-08 17:45
Justin Walters (File)
Centurion - Justin Walters deposited a three-iron 290 metres from the tee to inside three metres on his final hole to move into a share of the 36-hole lead of the R500 000 Telkom PGA Pro-Am on Thursday at the Centurion Country Club.

His seven-under-par 65 means he shares the lead with defending champion Jaco van Zyl, who, earlier, shot a six-under-par 66 to move to 11-under-par for the 54-hole tournament he won in 2009 and 2010.

“To finish with an eagle - you couldn’t ask for anything better than that, especially after I three-putted the hole before that," said Walters.

Walters had moved to 10-under-par after making birdie on seven - his 16th of the day, since he started on the 10th - and was looking at an opportunity to take the lead on his own.

“I felt I had Jaco in my sights, and I could try and tie up with him, but then I let one slip. The eagle certainly draws me level, so I’m very happy with that.”

Walters, who won the Investec Royal Swazi Open in May, but has managed a best of only 14th since then, was pleased to be back in the groove which brought him his second Sunshine Tour victory. “I’m feeling very similar to how I felt then,” he said.

“If you give this game a chance, it will come around, and I just tried to back off and stick to the basics and for the most part it’s going quite well for me right now.

“I’m mentally very calm, and I’m very happy with the progression of my game - I’m actually quite surprised, to be quite honest.”

Van Zyl flew into South Africa on Tuesday after finishing third in the Omega European Masters in Switzerland over the weekend, and, after a day of attending to family health issues, opened with a 67 before his second-round 66.

He balanced a birdie with a bogey ahead of his turn at nine at even for the round, and then he opened up the throttle coming home: birdies on one, three, four, five, seven and nine put him clear of all but one pursuer.

Walters and Van Zyl held a three-stroke edge over Jake Roos, Charl Coetzee and Jean Hugo.

Roos carded a bogey-free six-under 66, Hugo had three bogeys in his 67, and Coetzee had two eagles in his 66.

“My four-iron was hot today,” laughed Coetzee, who used the club to approach the seventh and 15th greens. “I hit them both to inside 12 feet, and it was good to make both the putts,” he said.

Doug McGuigan and rookie Dean O’Riley were in a share of sixth at seven-under, while first-round leader Darren Fichardt carded a 73 to slip to a share of eighth with Albert Pistorius.

They will all have to work hard to catch Walters, who described his mental state ahead of the closing round duel with Van Zyl: “You feel like you’re in no rush, you’re very confident, you have all the patience in the world even if you do make mistakes and the game seems to reward you for that,” he said.

Scores (RSA unless specified):

133 - Jaco Van Zyl 67 66, Justin Walters 68 65
136 - Jake Roos 70 66, Charl Coetzee 70 66, Jean Hugo 69 67
137 - Doug McGuigan 69 68, Dean O'Riley 70 67
138 - Albert Pistorius 71 67, Darren Fichardt 65 73
139 - Merrick Bremner 71 68, Mark Murless 69 70, Clinton Whitelaw 70 69
140 - Louis Moolman 71 69, Alex Haindl 68 72, Trevor Fisher Jnr 72 68, Neil Schietekat 69 71
141 - Lourens Kleynhans 69 72, George Coetzee 71 70, Chris Swanepoel 72 69, Steven Ferreira 71 70, Vaughn Groenewald 72 69, Brandon Pieters 70 71
142 - Thabang Simon 71 71, Bradford Vaughan 72 70, David Hewan 71 71, Christiaan Basson 72 70, PH McIntyre 73 69, Daniel Greene 71 71
143 - Oliver Bekker 72 71, Ulrich van den Berg 71 72, Theunis Spangenberg 69 74, Louis Calitz 69 74, Andre Cruse 71 72, Warren Abery 69 74, Colin Nel 70 73
144 - Des Terblanche 71 73, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 71 73, Tyrone Mordt 72 72, Reggie Adams 71 73, Jake Redman 72 72, Alan Michell 74 70, Justin Harding 70 74, Andrew Curlewis 73 71
Missed the cut:-
145 - Divan van den Heever 73 72, Louis de Jager 73 72, Jacques Blaauw 76 69
146 - Callie Swart 73 73, Bryce Easton 72 74, Grant Muller 72 74, Adrian Ford 70 76
147 - Lindani Ndwandwe 72 75, Prinavin Nelson 75 72, Allan Versfeld 72 75, Lyle Rowe 74 73, Mark Fensham 75 72, Don Black 72 75, Ryan Tipping 76 71
148 - Jaco Ahlers 75 73, Hendrik Buhrmann 71 77
149 - Kevin Stone 75 74, Attie Schwartzel 75 74, Michael du Toit 77 72
150 - JG Claassen 75 75, Josh Cunliffe 72 78
151 - JJ Senekal 76 75
154 - Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 75 79, Johan du Buisson 69 85, Anthony Michael 78 76
157 - Pieter Kruger 82 75
158 - Paul Marks 74 84
160 - Johan van Vuuren 83 77
WD - Desvonde Botes 78 WD
 

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