Sunshine Tour

Bogey-free Bremner takes charge in Port Elizabeth

2019-09-27 17:48
Merrick Bremner (File)
Merrick Bremner (File)

Port Elizabeth - He book-ended his round with two solid par-saves on Friday, but seven birdies for the second day in a row saw Merrick Bremner to a total of 14-under-par and a five-shot lead after the second round of the R1-million Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Humewood Golf Club.

His second-successive 65 wasn’t the best round of the day however, as Swede Jonathan Agren fired a superb eight-under 64 to take up second position ahead of Saturday’s final round, albeit a long way back from Bremner.

“I got off to a solid start,” said Bremner.

“I hit a couple of good shots down the first and my ball ended up over the green for some reason. I made a good up and down there.

“On the 18th, I got distracted over the tee shot and I didn’t back off and regroup. So I hit a bad tee shot, and then I had a tough bunker-shot after my approach. I hit it perfectly to about three feet and that was a good par-save.

“Then I just kept on creating chances, making good swing after good swing, keeping good focus and I just let the birdies come.”

For Bremner, the two great rounds were not entirely a surprise, even though they came on the back of a decision to keep driver out of play as much as possible.

“I wouldn’t say as much as possible,” he laughed.

“If I feel confident enough to hit it on a tee shot, then I’d hit it. If I felt a little nervy on it, then I’d rein it in and hit something I felt confident I could get in play.

“I think the mental side of things is a big factor this week. I’ve had my thoughts pretty clear now for the last couple of weeks. I had a good look at myself, and went and spoke to my psychologist to try and get back in the game. I’ve got the ability to perform at a higher level and that’s what I’m trying to showcase.

“I feel like I’ve been swinging really well – the best I’ve probably swung the club in my career – and the results just weren’t coming. I know patience is what you need and it’s very difficult to stay patient when you feel you’re playing well and you’re missing cuts. So I’m just taking it one shot at a time and I’ll let the result take care of itself.

“I’ve spent quite a bit of time working on things. I figured out that my new irons were slightly heavier than my old ones – I ordered them that way. I tried them for three weeks and they were obviously wrong because I missed a bunch of cuts. I put the old sticks back in the bag this week and they seem to be doing the trick.”

Agren, who has been playing well on his local Swedish circuit, but has just one top 10 on the Sunshine Tour, was very satisfied with his day’s work. “I’m very pleased,” he said. “I’ve been struggling the whole year in South Africa. I felt like I have been playing well, but I haven’t made a decent score.

“I think I hit every fairway – maybe missed one on the fringe – and I hit 16 greens. And when I missed them, I managed to get it up and down well. I hit my wedges to inside two metres and I made the putts.”

Agren is a shot clear of three players in a share of third on eight-under. Jacquin Hess carded 69 in the second round, Clinton Grobler six-under 66 and Ruan de Smidt signed for a 67.

They all have a lot of work to do to chase down the leader.

“Every day is a new day, so the challenge of tomorrow is tomorrow’s job, so I’ll take it as it comes tomorrow, I guess,” said Bremner. 

Scores:

130 - Merrick Bremner 65 65

135 - Jonathan Agren 71 64

136 - Jacquin Hess 67 69, Clinton Grobler 70 66, Ruan de Smidt 69 67

137 - Philip Geerts 70 67

138 - Steve Surry 68 70, MJ Viljoen 71 67

139 - Ruan Conradie 69 70, Andrew Curlewis 72 67, Riekus Nortje 70 69, Ryan Tipping 72 67, Lyle Rowe 71 68

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  merrick bremner  |  golf

 

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