News24

Strydom in control at De Zalze

2012-07-26 18:40

Stellenbosch - Mafikeng is hardly viewed as the place for golfing enlightenment. But it’s where Ockie Strydom rediscovered the confidence that has seen him take a commanding hold of the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at De Zalze Golf Club.

After 36 holes, Strydom heads the field on 16 under par going into Friday’s final round. He’s three strokes clear of Allan Versfeld.

And he’s done so with two rounds of 64, a total of 18 birdies, and such low nine-hole scores as 29 on the first day and 31 on the second. He made four straight pars in the first round, which considering the rate at which he’s making birdies must have felt like an eternity.

“Yeah, I’ve done well. It’s not too bad, really,” Strydom says with the understatement of a Boeing at the OR Tambo International Airport that shares his hometown of Kempton Park.

“I made a few more good putts today. I didn’t hit my irons as close as in the first round, but I holed some good 10- and 15-foot putts.”

It was Strydom’s victory in a tournament in Mafikeng recently, where he beat such experienced campaigners as Jean Hugo and Doug McGuigan, that revived his confidence in his own game.

“I lost my confidence a while back. I wasn’t scoring well, and you keep going and trying, but eventually it gets to you. Then I just told myself, ‘You can play this game. You’ve played it for 24 years now, so go out there and enjoy yourself’. My coach also told me he’d give me a klap if I didn’t start playing well soon.

“Then I won that tournament in Mafikeng, and I went from rock bottom to feeling very confident again. It makes a huge difference having a win under your belt.”

Strydom has taken full advantage of a very wet De Zalze golf course this week, having dropped only two shots in 36 holes.

“The course is very wet so there are challenges, but if you’re on form you can shoot low here.”

But Strydom does find himself in uncharted territory.

“I’ve never led a tournament on the Sunshine Tour. I’m trying not to think about it, and just want to go out in the final round and play the same game. I’ve just got to make it through the final round now.”

Scores (RSA unless specified):

-16 - Ockie Strydom 64 64
-13 - Allan Versfeld 65 66
-9 - Dean Burmester 68 67, Jean Hugo 66 (-3) [15]
-8 - Darren Fichardt 66 70, Jaco Ahlers 67 69, Jbe' Kruger 68 (-4) [15], Mark Williams 71 (-7) [15], Louis de Jager 69 (-5) [15]
-7 - Keith Horne 67 70
-6 - Bryce Easton 67 71, Johan du Buisson 71 67, Christiaan Basson 67 71
-5 - Titch Moore 73 66, Jacques Blaauw 72 67, Justin Harding 73 (-6) [15]
-4 - Ryan Thompson 71 69, Matthew Carvell 71 69, Jaco Van Zyl 72 68, Shaun Norris 69 71, Keenan Davidse 71 69, Attie Schwartzel 72 68, Francois Haughton 67 73
-3 - Albert Pistorius 73 68, Desvonde Botes 72 69, Chris Erasmus 68 73, Colin Nel 71 (-2) [15]
-2 - Riekus Nortje 71 71, Bradford Vaughan 71 71, Omar Sandys 71 71, Charl Coetzee 72 70, Neil Schietekat 71 71, Des Terblanche 70 (Par) [15]
-1 - Andre Cruse 72 71, Theunis Spangenberg 74 69, Doug McGuigan 72 71
Par - Mark Fensham 70 74, Jake Redman 70 74, David Hewan 73 71, JG Claassen 75 69, Louis Calitz 70 74, Morne Buys 75 69, Jake Roos 75 69, Ulrich van den Berg 74 70
Projected cut
+1 - Ryan Tipping 72 73, Stuart Clark (WAL) 71 74, Ruan de Smidt 69 76, PH McIntyre 73 (Par) [15], Hendrik Buhrmann 74 (-1) [15], Lindani Ndwandwe 72 (+1) [15]
+2 - Vaughn Groenewald 77 69, James Kamte 74 72, Jared Harvey 76 70, Grant Veenstra 76 70, Andrew Curlewis 74 72
+3 - Prinavin Nelson 74 73, Alan Michell 73 74, Grant Muller 77 70, Chris Swanepoel 73 74, Steven Ferreira 74 73, Merrick Bremner 76 71
+4 - Wallie Coetsee 77 71, Bennie van der Merwe 77 71
+5 - Divan van den Heever 74 75, Derik Ferreira 75 (+2) [15]
+6 - Ryan Strauss 77 73
+7 - Wynand Dingle 75 76, Louis Moolman 77 (+2) [15]
+8 - Francois Coetzee 78 74
+10 - Stuart Smith (BOT) 77 77
+13 - Thabang Simon 80 77
+14 - Steven van Heerden 83 75
 

Sport24