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Ken Borland


The joke’s on Lawrence as Strydom goes out & breaks his course record himself

Posted on March 29, 2023 by Ken

Ockie Strydom told fellow South African Thriston Lawrence that someone needed to address the problem of his inability to break the Blair Atholl course record on the second day of the South African Open, and he then went out and did it himself as they both thoroughly entertained the public and ended on top of the leaderboard on Friday.

Lawrence had led after the first day as he fired an eight-under-par 64, equalling the course record he set in October 2021 in the Blair Atholl Championship. Strydom jokingly ribbed him about being unable to break the record on the driving range on Friday morning … and then went out and shot a phenomenal nine-under-par 63 that rocketed him up the leaderboard to second.

Lawrence held on to his lead, however, as he posted an impressive five-under 67 in the second round, moving to 13-under for the tournament, two ahead of Strydom.

“I said to Thriston that someone must break the course record today and he just said ‘We’ll see’,” Strydom said after his bogey-free round that included two hat-tricks of birdies, from the fifth hole and the 11th hole.

“But I had plenty of fun, it was pleasant out there and I hit the ball as well as I can and in the right places. I played it safe to the tough flags and just made sure I missed in the right places.

“Today was exceptional and I am in a good position. On the weekend I will just try to keep my head in the game, be positive and go out and hit the ball as well as I can,” Strydom said.

Lawrence sealed his lead, and held off Strydom’s challenge, by making four birdies in his last five holes.

“Ockie had an unbelievable round today, but fortunately I had a good finish,” Lawrence said. “He said this morning that I must break my course record and now he has done it.

“It will be lekker playing together in the third round and hopefully we can make sure a South African wins the tournament.”

Lawrence continued to attack the longest course in DP World Tour history off the tee, saying “Driver has been the best club in my bag all year”. Starting his round on the 10th hole, he birdied the 12th and 13th, but his round then lost a bit of momentum as he made pars the rest of the way to the turn, three-putting the par-five 18th for par. Bogeys at one and four meant his lead was well and truly under threat, but he then sank a series of impressive putts to pull clear again.

Frenchman Clement Sordet (66) and amateur Christian Maas (65) both enjoyed brilliant days as they moved to 10-under and tied for third.

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