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Ken Borland

Van Tonder operates clinically again; when final putt fell it meant he had an eagle for a 3-shot lead 0

Posted on October 05, 2020 by Ken

When Danie van Tonder’s 40-foot eagle putt fell on his last hole of the second round of the Vodacom Championship Reloaded at Huddle Park Golf Club on Thursday, it catapulted him from a narrow one-shot lead heading into the final round of the last Rise Up Series event into a sizeable three-shot advantage.

Finishing on the par-five ninth hole, it was a magnificent way to end a round which up till then had been more solid than spectacular. On a cooler day which meant Van Tonder could not bomb the ball quite as far, the hottest golfer in South Africa was four-under-par for his round, enough when combined with his superb 63 on the first day to take him to 13-under overall, one shot ahead of Jacques Blaauw.

But the eagle saw him finish with a six-under-par 66, taking him out to 15-under for the tournament. Even for a man who operates as clinically as Van Tonder, it was a spectacular strike at just the right time.

“I hit a good drive and I had 175 to the pin, so I hit an eight-iron as hard as I can and it finished pin-high, but I was left with a 40-foot snake of a putt. I didn’t really think about my lead, tomorrow [Friday] will just be another round in which I try and shoot less than 70. If I hit fairways and make putts for 18 holes then it will be like matchplay and with pars and birdies it will be hard to beat me.

“I just need to play the golf course and try to birdie everything I can. It’s easy, just grip it and hit it and trust yourself. I played well today [Thursday] but missed a couple of birdies. But at least I gave myself chances so I am still happy, the ones I missed just rolled over the lips of the holes and I knew sooner or later I would make one. I was never really getting into trouble,” Van Tonder said after his round.

Blaauw was able to hop up the leaderboard with an impressive five-under-par 67 and led for much of the day on 12-under before Van Tonder overtook him late in the day. An excellent round with the putter meant the four-time Sunshine Tour winner was confident he could secure his first trophy since winning the Sishen Vodacom Origins event four years ago.

“I’m working hard for the win and I can’t really point the finger at something in particular that is stopping me. But rolling in some putts today made a difference, I’m hitting the ball good and my caddy is reading the greens well, he just tells me where to hit it. So I’m confident and I just need to stick to what I know best. There’s a lot that could still happen,” Blaauw told The Citizen.

Promising rookie Malcolm Mitchell and veteran Adilson da Silva, who fired a brilliant bogey-free 64 on Thursday, are on 11-under and also have the potential to challenge Van Tonder as he goes for his third Rise Up Series title.

Anton Haig shot the round of the day in the second round with a 63, that included two eagles, to go to 10-under, giving himself a chance of his first professional win  since 2013, along with Jaco Ahlers, who is clearly in good touch after back-to-back 67s, and Louis de Jager, who slipped back a bit with a 70 on Thursday.

Talented youngsters Clayton Mansfield (67), Gideon van der Vyver (64) and Ruan Korb (66) are also on 10-under.

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    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.


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