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Horne hunting Telkom PGA win

2012-02-25 15:51

Johannesburg - Keith Horne birdied his final four holes for a two-stroke lead in the Telkom PGA Championship on a day when almost everyone made a run at the lead, including a player who went from ‘putt putt’ to professional golfer in the space of 10 months.

Horne looked every bit the experienced professional he is as he carved out a patient 67 for the lead on 16-under-par 200 at Country Club Johannesburg on Saturday.

Darren Fichardt, Alex Haindl and second round leader Dean Burmester are his nearest challengers on 14-under, while James Kamte is in a group three off the pace.

But it was Horne’s experience that shone through on Saturday as he had to weather a slow start. “It was a patient round,” he said. “I drove the ball well, but wasn’t making any birdies out there. I tried to stay patient, and fortunately it finally happened on the last few holes. I felt like it was a bit of a struggle out there and I came through it with a 67, so I’m feeling quite confident.”

It’s a confidence built around his putting form, which has improved considerably with his use of a belly putter for a full tournament for the first time this week.

“I’m feeling very relaxed with my putting, and that is filtering through to the rest of my game.”

But on a course that yields some very low scoring, Horne admits he will be hoping for something even better in the final round.

“There are a lot of players just a couple of shots behind me, so there certainly won’t be any defending going on in the final round. Anybody can shoot nine under in the final round. The course is there to shoot a low score on if somebody gets the putter going, so I’ll be doing my best to go as low as possible again.”

At the age of 22 and leading a tournament for the first time in his career going into the third round, Burmester did well not to drop too far off the pace and closed with three straight birdies for a 70 that will do his confidence the world of good.

But one of the more remarkable stories of the day came from Morné Buys. The Free State professional produced a 65 that puts him right in the mix on 13-under, and which is just as amazing as his career.

Buys only started playing golf in 2003. He was a national age-group tennis player and Free State cricketer, but for various reasons decided not to pursue either.

“A friend asked me to join him for a round of golf. I told him it wasn’t the game for me. I’d only ever played putt putt,” said the 33-year-old Buys, whose father Kobus and uncle Danie were both Springbok tennis players.

But his view of the game changed when he shot 85 the first time out. “Two months later I was a plus-one handicap, and eight months later I turned pro.”

Scores (RSA unless specified):

200 - Keith Horne 70 63 67

202 - Darren Fichardt 64 71 67, Alex Haindl 69 65 68, Dean Burmester 66 66 70

203 - Morne Buys 73 65 65, Joshua Cunliffe 71 66 66, Trevor Fisher Jnr 65 69 69, James Kamte 67 67 69

205 - Albert Pistorius 70 70 65, Andrew Curlewis 67 69 69, Bryce Easton 69 66 70

206 - Hennie Otto 71 70 65, Ulrich van den Berg 69 69 68, Jaco Ahlers 69 68 69, Keenan Davidse 71 66 69

207 - Merrick Bremner 72 69 66, Richard Sterne 71 68 68, Jaco Van Zyl 69 68 70, Louis Moolman 70 66 71

208 - Jake Roos 69 71 68, Ockie Strydom 71 68 69, Jbe' Kruger 70 68 70, Tyrone Ferreira 73 65 70, Divan van den Heever 69 68 71

209 - Peter Karmis 74 68 67, Jean Hugo 70 70 69

210 - Mark Murless 74 67 69, Martin Maritz 68 67 75

211 - David Hewan 67 74 70, Tjaart van der Walt 73 68 70, Hendrik Buhrmann 70 70 71, Toto Thimba (Jnr) 73 67 71, Chris Swanepoel 75 67 69, Kyle Scott 71 68 72, Divan Gerber 69 69 73, Wallie Coetsee 74 70 67

212 - Allan Versfeld 71 70 71, Drikus van der Walt 69 71 72, Andre Cruse 68 76 68

213 - Warren Abery 70 72 71, Justin Harding 73 69 71, Oliver Bekker 69 70 74, Christiaan Basson 72 72 69

214 - Justin Walters 72 69 73, Jake Redman 74 67 73, Michael Hollick 68 73 73, Brett Liddle 69 71 74, Wynand Dingle 72 68 74, Paul Marks 75 68 71, Andrew Georgiou 72 71 71, Derick Petersen 73 70 71, Riekus Nortje 77 67 70, Louis Calitz 71 73 70, James Kingston 69 75 70

215 - Brandon Pieters 72 71 72, Jacques Blaauw 75 68 72, Neil Schietekat 72 72 71, Matthew Carvell 73 71 71

216 - Charl Coetzee 71 69 76, Steven Ferreira 69 71 76, Stuart Clark (WAL) 70 73 73, JJ Senekal 71 73 72, Desvonde Botes 69 75 72, Des Terblanche 70 74 72

217 - Tyrone Ryan 70 71 76, Allister de Kock 73 70 74, Coenie Stoop 69 71 77, Dawie Van der Walt 73 70 74, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 73 71 73, Tyrone Mordt 73 71 73, Martin du Toit 71 73 73, PG van Zyl 73 71 73, Colin Nel 74 70 73, Daniel Hammond 71 73 73

218 - Derik Ferreira 69 72 77, Dismas Indiza (KEN) 72 71 75, Lindani Ndwandwe 70 74 74, Thomas Lovett 74 70 74

219 - Lyle Rowe 73 69 77, Theunis Spangenberg 74 70 75

221 - Gary Birch Jr (GER) 76 68 77

226 - Alan Michell 75 69 82

 

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