Kempton Park - Jean Hugo followed up on his opening round of five-under-par 67 with a 68 in the second round of the season-ending Tour Championship, which gave him a one-shot lead on nine-under-par at Serengeti Estates.
Co-leading after round one, albeit by just one shot, Hugo started off slowly in round two, making four pars on the trot. He found joy on the par-three fifth hole, making a birdie there and followed that up with another on the sixth. A par on the seventh preceded another birdie but he gave back two shots as he made a double-bogey on the par-three ninth.
"I played well, slow start again but I made a few putts," said Hugo who is now the solo leader.
"On five and six, those two good ones to get going. And then, on the green for two on eight, the first time ever that I have gone for it. I two-putted that for birdie so I was three-under and eight-under total, happy. Then, I kind of pulled my six-iron on nine, different kind of wind today, but I wasn't overly dissatisfied."
His back nine started the same his front did; with four straight pars but then Hugo made three consecutive birdies from the 14th through to the 16th in what was a bogey-free back nine.
"I just kept it going," he said of his back nine. "I then made a big putt on 13 to save par and then a big one for birdie, and another on 15 for birdie. On 16, I went for the green, up-and-downed nicely for a birdie. But nine-under is good. I'm hitting it where I’m looking and that's good and I'm making the putts. It feels good."
Closely behind Hugo comes Jean-Paul Strydom whose blemish-free five-under 67 pushed him right ahead of Keenan Davidse who shared the overnight lead with Hugo, and Sweden's Philip Eriksson who are both seven-under par for the week.
Birdies on the second and eighth holes characterised Strydom's front nine and an important eagle on the par-five 11th, accompanied by a birdie on the 16th brought his total to eight-under-par for the week.
"Good ball-striking," Strydom noted after his round. "I mean, yesterday as well, I just didn't make the putts. But today I made a couple, and missed a couple. Flawless today; I hit one bad driver and that was on the 18th, pulled it into the bunker because it didn't fade enough. And, the greens are not easy to read here but I'm happy with the round."
Leader of the Order of Merit of the Gary Player Class, Davidse shares the third spot with Eriksson while Jake Roos, JJ Senekal and Thriston Lawrence are in a three-way tie for the fifth spot.
135 - Jean Hugo 67 68
136 - Jean-Paul Strydom 69 67
137 - Keenan Davidse 67 70, Philip Eriksson 68 69
138 - Jake Roos 71 67, JJ Senekal 68 70, Thriston Lawrence 69 69
139 - Ockie Strydom 74 65, JC Ritchie 68 71, Merrick Bremner 70 69
140 - Jaco Ahlers 72 68
141 - Lyle Rowe 71 70, Hennie Otto 70 71, Jaco Prinsloo 72 69
142 - Anthony Michael 74 68, Vaughn Groenewald 72 70
143 - Jaco Van Zyl 72 71, Michael Palmer 72 71, Steve Surry 73 70
144 - Andre De Decker 71 73, Bryce Easton 73 71
145 - Daniel Greene 71 74, Martin Rohwer 70 75, Mark Williams 71 74, Peter Karmis 74 71, Daniel van Tonder 77 68
146 - Rourke van der Spuy 74 72, Jack Harrison 71 75, Trevor Fisher Jnr 74 72, Neil Schietekat 72 74, Doug McGuigan 75 71
148 - Jacques Blaauw 74 74
149 - Christiaan Basson 73 76, Benjamin Follett-Smith 73 76
150 - Tyrone Ferreira 75 75
153 - Madalitso Muthiya 75 78, Tyrone Ryan 74 79, Matias Calderon 78 75
159 - Zander Lombard 81 78
RTD - Hennie du Plessis