Sunshine Tour

Tjaart-ing his way to the top

2013-11-02 17:27
Tjaart van der Walt (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - It was a master class for 12 holes on Saturday as Tjaart van der Walt racked up eight birdies on his way to a seven-under-par 65 and a two-stroke lead after the third round of the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open.

His scorecard was flawless until a dropped shot on the 15th at the end of a notoriously difficult stretch at Royal Cape Golf Club, but he kept it all together for the rest of the round to edge ahead of Hennie Otto who lead the tournament until the halfway mark.

"I putted well today," he said as he reflected on a game that came together in a big way on a day golfers call moving day in tournaments as he moved to 13-under 203.

"I think I had one chip-in, one putt from off the green – 23 putts, 24, technically – but I saw the lines and managed to make good strokes."

His 65 came on top of two solid three-under-par 69s, and he chased down Otto, who held a four-stroke lead over him overnight within three holes as Otto made two bogeys and Van der Walt made two birdies as they set out on their round.

Van der Walt had a wondrous front nine: He made three birdies in a row twice – from the second to the fourth, and then the sixth to the eighth – and he very nearly made birdie on nine to turn in 29.

"I had a good feeling the whole day," he said.

"The front nine was special, and I left it in the jaws to shoot 29. Every putt I looked at was just dead-centre."

He managed to play the way he did without hitting the ball particularly well either.

"Did I hit it that well today? No!" he laughed.

"Did I hit it well enough?

"Probably."

An example of how everything went his way came on the 442-metre par-five 11th, where he didn’t play a shot on the fairway, but still managed to make his seventh birdie.

"You know, 11’s a tricky tee-shot, and I got a bit of a bad break and my tee shot finished on an upslope," he said.

"I thought if I could just advance it, I might be able to have a chip."

As it turned out, he hit it between the trees in the rough to the left of the green.

"I had a decent look at the shot, and if I could get it on the green today, it looked like it was going to go in," he said.

Otto wasn’t at his brilliant best like he was in the opening two rounds, but he still managed to bring it home in one-under for a total of 11-under.

His card included five birdies and an eagle, but six bogeys dotted all over his scorecard at regular intervals hampered his progress.

He was three strokes clear of Jared Harvey  who carded a fine 68 to move into third, while Doug McGuigan and Justin Harding were in a share of fourth at six-under-par 210.

Round of the day came from Gert Myburgh, who played his third round on his own after being the 73rd player to make the cut: His six-under-par 66 in the early morning vaulted him all the way from 73rd to a share of eighth ahead of Sunday’s final round.

Even that might not be enough to stop Van der Walt in the final round if he fires again like he did in the third.

"We’re hoping that Tjaart the ball-striker will come back tomorrow," he laughed.

If he does, he could end up with his maiden Sunshine Tour title in a professional career that stretches back to 1996.

Scores (RSA unless otherwise specified):
203 - Tjaart van der Walt 69 69 65
205 - Hennie Otto 66 68 71
208 - Jared Harvey 70 70 68
210 - Doug McGuigan 70 71 69, Justin Harding 71 69 70
211 - Titch Moore 73 70 68, Allan Versfeld 70 70 71
212 - Gert Myburgh 78 68 66, Andrew Curlewis 70 73 69, Alan McLean (SCO) 72 71 69, Justin Walters 69 73 70, Michael Hollick 69 72 71, JJ Senekal 71 70 71
213 - Jean Hugo 72 74 67, Alan Michell 72 73 68, Mark Murless 73 71 69, Charl Coetzee 71 71 71, Ulrich van den Berg 74 68 71,Trevor Fisher Jnr 71 71 71, Wynand Dingle 70 72 71, Anthony Michael 68 73 72
214 - Danie van Tonder 70 76 68, Theunis Spangenberg 74 71 69, Steve Surry (ENG) 72 73 69, Jbe' Kruger 69 72 73, Bradford Vaughan 70 71 73,Desvonde Botes 69 71 74
215 - Ruan de Smidt 77 68 70, Warren Abery 71 74 70, Adrian Ford 71 73 71, Jake Roos 70 72 73, Heinrich Bruiners 72 69 74,Omar Sandys 67 71 77
216 - Matthew Carvell 73 73 70, Martin du Toit 73 73 70, Prinavin Nelson 72 72 72, Tyrone Mordt 69 75 72, Johan du Buisson 71 73 72,Peter Karmis 68 76 72, Mark Williams 72 70 74
217 - Keith Horne 70 75 72, Ryan Tipping 71 73 73, Johan de Beer 71 72 74, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 73 70 74
218 - Shaun Norris 71 75 72, Shaun Smith 71 75 72, James Kingston 69 76 73, Oliver Bekker 74 71 73, Ryan Strauss 75 69 74,Lyle Rowe 69 75 74, Peter Wilson (ENG) 69 75 74, Derick Petersen 72 71 75, Ross Wellington 71 70 77
219 - Pieter Moolman 73 73 73, Kevin Stone 72 74 73, Drikus van der Walt 69 77 73, Neil Schietekat 71 74 74, Reggie Adams 69 75 75,Divan Gerber 71 72 76, Drikus Bruyns 72 70 77
220 - Alex Haindl 75 71 74, Erik van Rooyen 70 76 74, Jacquin Hess 72 73 75, Wallie Coetsee 73 71 76
221 - Desne van den Bergh 74 72 75
222 - Keenan Davidse 72 74 76, Dean Burmester 72 73 77, Anton Haig 71 74 77
223 - Makgetha Mazibuko 70 75 78, Clifford Howes 69 75 79
224 - Maritz Wessels 70 76 78, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 70 75 79
227 - Stuart Smith (BOT) 70 75 82

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