NEL RISES TO TOP AT HUMEWOOD
HIS six-under-par 66 at the Humewood Golf Club yesterday was confirmation for Colin Nel that a run of poor form seems to have ended, as well as good enough to take the lead after 36 holes of the Sun Boardwalk Challenge.
The 33-year-old Maritzburg Golf Club professional was flawless on a breezy day – less so than in the first round, though – to head into the final round of the R750 000 tournament with a one-stroke edge over Zimbabwean Mark Williams.
“I’m very thrilled,” Nel said. “Just to go under par around here is good enough, so to back my first round up with a 66 is great.
“And it’s a bogey-free round, which is what I try and aim at all the time. To do it around here with a bit of a breeze up is great.”
His opening 68 had included two bogeys in winds gusting up to 50km/h.
In the second round, he turned in three-under 32, and he picked up three more birdies on the homeward nine for his 66.
“The breeze was a couple of miles an hour less than yesterday, but it was still tricky enough to get your attention,” Nel said.
“I hit a few wayward shots today but I kept it in play. That’s what you have to do around a links course, and especially around Humewood – keep it in play and minimise mistakes. I did that reasonably well today.”
As good as Nel’s round was, it was not the best of the day. Williams was also flawless on his way to a seven-under-par 65, a tally that was matched by Tyrone Ryan.
Williams moved to nine-under for the tournament in second, and Ryan to five-under in a share of fifth.
“I’m really chuffed with the way I hit the ball,” Williams said.
“I got a couple of lucky breaks in the beginning. There have been a lot of momentum shifts for me this week, and when things could have gone bad for me, I bounced back with a birdie or whatever.”
CLOSE SECOND: Mark Williams during day two of the Sun Boardwalk Challenge at the Humewood Golf Club