Loads of big num­bers in bad weather at Sun City


SUN CITY: It’s well-known that the Gary Player Coun­try Club is one of the tough­est and most de­mand­ing cour­ses in South Africa and it played true to that de­scrip­tion yes­ter­day dur­ing the sec­ond round of the 2017 Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge.

For once it was the wind that caused all sorts of prob­lems for the 71 play­ers in the field af­ter the with­drawal of Amer­i­can Peter Uil­hein early in the day, with sev­eral play­ers post­ing scores they’d rather want to for­get. A strong swirling wind that vir­tu­ally blew all day com­bined with the no­to­ri­ous rough, fast greens and tough pin po­si­tions made for a day of very chal­leng­ing golf. And the scores showed just how dif­fi­cult it was. Only 12 play­ers broke par, with many post­ing big, big num­bers. Eng­land’s very promis­ing Jor­dan Smith, who chal­lenged at the SA Open early in Jan­uary, shot an eight-over-par 80, with seven bo­geys, a dou­ble-bo­gey and just one birdie.

Three play­ers posted seven-over par 79s; South Africa’s Bran­don Stone who is at 11-over­par at the half­way stage af­ter a 76 on the first day, last year’s run­ner-up Je­unghun Wang, who’s at eight-over-par, and Italy’s Re­nato Para­tore, who is seven-over.

Only eight eagles were reg­is­tered on the day, with the sec­ond, ninth and 10th the “eas­i­est” to score on, while the tough­est hole was the 411m par-four third. The scor­ing av­er­age there was 4.46 with just one birdie made on the hole and 26 bo­geys and four dou­bles. Two eights were pen­cilled in on the score­cards of Ire­land’s Shane Lowry, on the parfive 14th, and Den­mark’s Soren Kjeld­sen, at the par-four 11th.


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