Sunshine Tour

Harding lines up shot at second Swazi title

2018-05-19 18:42
Justin Harding (File)

Mbabane - Justin Harding fired an eight-under-par 64 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead ahead of the final round of the Lombard Insurance Classic being played at the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club.

Harding made six birdies and an eagle to edge clear of first-round leader Combrinck Smit and put himself in a position to win his second tournament in two weeks on the same course after he won last week’s Investec Royal Swazi Open.

The eagle was particularly satisfying.

“I’ve been looking for the eagle for quite some time - at least six competitive rounds around here over the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“It was a good couple of shots and I rolled the putt in.”

It was a bogey-free round for Harding, while almost everyone within striking distance of him - barring Alex Haindl, who finished three shots behind him, and Jared Harvey, who carded an eight-under of his own to move to five shots off the pace - dropped shots.

“I felt like I played nicely all day, and keeping the bogeys off the card is key,” said Harding.

And keeping bogeys off the card has a lot to do with good putting.

“My putting is just about confidence,” he said.

“I’m walking onto the green having maybe two or three fewer things to think about. I’m walking on, picking my line and stroking it. If it goes in, it goes in and I’m giving myself a bunch of chances. Eventually, they all add up and lead to a good score.”

There were good scores aplenty behind Harding, and it had a lot to do with a soaking drizzle which was present at the start, and came back later in the afternoon.

“I don’t particularly like playing in the rain. Nobody does,” said Harding.

“But the rain softened the course up and made it more scoreable. The ball is not really running off the fairways and you can attack a few more pins from the fairways.”

Behind Harding and Smith, there was a group of three players in 11-under, three shots off the lead. They were Vaughn Groenewald, Jake Roos and Alex Haindl, all of whom have been threatening to win recently.

“You’ll probably see the same sort of shoot-out tomorrow and I hope I can fend them off,” said Harding.

“I would prefer a grind, but it’s a matter of making one less shot than the guys finishing ahead of me. It’s probably going to take a low one. I’ve shot 67 here twice when leading and have been pipped in a playoff both times.”

“I’m going to see if I can keep the momentum all the way through.”

Scores:

130 - Justin Harding 66 64

131 - Combrinck Smit 63 68

133 - Vaughn Groenewald 65 68, Jake Roos 67 66, Alex Haindl 67 66

134 - Jaco Ahlers 68 66, Ulrich van den Berg 65 69, Matthew Carvell 71 63, Andre De Decker 66 68, Merrick Bremner 70 64, Louis de Jager 69 65

135 - Martin Rohwer 66 69, Lyle Rowe 66 69, Colin Nel 65 70, Jake Redman 68 67, Ruan Conradie 68 67, Jared Harvey 71 64

136 - Tyrone Ryan 68 68, Daniel van Tonder 68 68, JJ Senekal 70 66, Jaco Prinsloo 70 66

137 - Neil Schietekat 70 67, Madalitso Muthiya 69 68, Hennie du Plessis 69 68, Steve Surry 70 67, Christiaan Basson 70 67, Rhys West 66 71, Peter Karmis 72 65, Andrew Curlewis 68 69

138 - Desne Van Den Bergh 72 66, Andre Nel 66 72, Jean-Paul Strydom 70 68, Riekus Nortje 69 69, Matias Calderon 70 68, Benjamin Follett-Smith 67 71, Derick Petersen 69 69, Pieter Moolman 69 69, Marc Cayeux 71 67

139 - Mark Williams 69 70, Breyten Meyer 74 65, Ruan de Smidt 68 71, Omar Sandys 69 70, Luke Jerling 72 67, Thriston Lawrence 70 69

Missed the cut:

140 - Ockie Strydom 72 68, Musiwalo Nethunzwi 71 69, Michael Hollick 73 67, Chris Cannon 73 67, Coert Groenewald 72 68, Tyler Hogarty 70 70, Scott Campbell 71 69, Jbe' Kruger 70 70, Chris Swanepoel 70 70, Titch Moore 72 68, Herman Loubser 72 68

141 - Daniel Greene 71 70, Jean Hugo 70 71, Divan van den Heever 70 71, Jonathan Agren 69 72, Tyrone Ferreira 74 67, Oliver Bekker 71 70, Keith Horne 73 68, Toto Thimba 72 69

142 - Doug McGuigan 70 72, Michael Schutz 69 73, Jacques P de Villiers 70 72

143 - Franklin Manchest 72 71, Keenan Davidse 74 69, Rourke van der Spuy 68 75, Michael Palmer 75 68, Stephen Ferreira 75 68

144 - Jason Smith 73 71, Wynand Dingle 68 76

145 - Ryan Tipping 73 72, Makhetha Mazibuko 71 74, Theunis Bezuidenhout 72 73, Callum Mowat 74 71, Wallie Coetsee 75 70

146 - Hennie Otto 71 75

147 - Jacquin Hess 73 74, MJ Viljoen 76 71

148 - Wayne Stroebel 73 75, Jason Froneman 74 74, Sipho Bujela 80 68, Thabang Simon 76 72

151 - James Pennington 79 72

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  justin harding  |  golf
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