Cape Town - On a day when the wind ruined many a scorecard on Friday, England's Steve Surry calmly negotiated his way to a three-under-par 69 around Pinnacle Point to take a four-stroke lead after the second round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final.
With gusts of up to 60 kilometres per hour, there were eventually only five players in the 102-man field who cared rounds under par in exhausting conditions. That puts Surry's performance into some perspective as he made five birdies and dropped just two shots.
"We got the first sort of six holes done without too much wind and then it started picking up," he said. "The back nine is pretty gusty out there. Rather than enjoying the views today, it was a bit more of a 'keep your head down and concentrate on playing' kind of day."
That's an understatement. It was a day during which Luke Joy's four-under-par 68 to lift him into second behind his countryman Surry seemed miraculous. It was a day during which Zander Lombard turned in a spectacular seven-under 29, only to get buffeted down to size with a homeward six-over 42. Even so, Lombard’s one-under finish lifted him into a share of fifth at the end of the day.
After Surry's relatively fast start from the 10th tee in the early morning, his bogeys came in succession on the 16th and 17th. He atoned for those with a birdie on 18, and then clamped down on any further mistakes on his way in with to more birdies, including a very good one on his final hole, the ninth.
"I got a bit lucky with the birdie on nine," he said. "It kicked in off the bank. It was the shot to hit there, though, rather than hitting it into the ocean on the right. It's a very intimidating tee shot."
Surry has been visiting South Africa since 2012, and his best season came in 2013 when he finished 58th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit. He is currently in 44th spot and would love to go one better than his three runner-up finishes he has to his name.
"I'm definitely keen on getting a win," he said. "Everything that comes with a win - the exemptions and stuff - would be big for me. I'd love to finally get a win."
He’s got a windy final day in the 54-hole tournament ahead of him.
"I'm quite comfortable playing in the wind," he said. "Back home, the course at Cumberwell where I play is quite windy, so I'm quite used to playing knock-down shots and stuff. It should be good."
The forecast is for gusts of 35 kilometres an hour, and that might feel positively windless for those who made the cut at seven-over-par.