Cape Town - There have been improbable comebacks in golf, and Jake Redman added his to that list with a level-par 72 on Thursday in the second round of the R700,000 Sun Boardwalk Challenge at Humewood Golf Club.
That courageous 72 left him at six-under-par for the tournament after 36 holes of the 54-hole event, two off the pace – and that after he found himself six-over par for his second round after just five holes, having made a quintuple-bogey on the fifth according to the Sunshine tour website.
When he could so easily have let himself sink under the weight of that, he fought back instead, making six birdies through the rest of his round to claw back the deficit and remain in contention. “I would definitely say that I’m very proud of myself,” he said. “After that start, I didn’t think that I’d be able to get it back to level-par. I didn’t really have any thoughts on an end result at that point. The following hole – the sixth – I hit it into the bunker, and I actually holed the bunker shot. I don’t know if that got things sparked up but I’m really happy with the outcome.”
His fifth hole was disastrous from the get-go. “I hit my first tee shot straight left straight into the wind,” he said. “I hit a provisional straight right, deeper in the bush than the first one. I hit another provisional and I hit that even further right. I just said to my caddie, ‘We better find the first one.’
“We didn’t find the first one, didn’t find the second one, but we found the third one. I somehow hacked it out. From 80 out, I hit it to about five feet and missed the putt for eight – and it would have been a good eight!
“What was going through my mind when I made the nine were obviously not the right things at the time. The main thing when that happens is that you have to start really focusing and thinking about the correct things. But your mind tends to wander when you get a setback like that, so I just tried my hardest to regroup.”
He finished the fightback in third place behind the leader Chris Swanepoel, and just one back from second-placed Ulrich van den Berg. Virtually no-one in the afternoon field was able to make any headway on the leaders, and Drikus Bruyns – also from the morning field – was next-best at five-under, one behind Redman.
It could be windy again in the final round, but Redman was phlegmatic about that. “There’s a lifeline out there, with the wind picking up,” he said. “I had a feeling it was going to pick up today. It only picked up on the last three or four holes of my round, but it was like someone turned on a switch and it picked up by at least 20 kilometres an hour.
“I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to the possibility of playing the final round in the wind, but I’m not too fazed with what the weather’s going to be like. Everybody’s got to play with the same weather.”