Coetzee blazes clear at Fancourt

A blistering second-round 65 has seen George Coetzee grab the lead at the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt.

A blistering second-round 65 saw George Coetzee grab the lead at the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt on Friday.

And this on the Links Course, ranked by many as the toughest of the three courses in play at Fancourt Golf Estate this week.

Coetzee posted seven birdies and an eagle, as against a solitary bogey in shooting his eight-under par 65 on the par-73 layout.

This is the lowest recorded round ever on the Links – and could have been even lower if not for his three-putt for par on the last – but it cannot be considered a course record because placing on the fairways was allowed following incessant wet weather.

Coupled with his two-under par 70 on the Outeniqua course yesterday takes him to a 10-under par total for the tournament and leaves him four shots ahead of nearest rivals James Kingston and Hennie Otto who shot second rounds of 72 and 71 respectively on Friday

Kingston and Warren Abery both looked good to join Coetzee at the top, but each took a double-bogey on the closing stretch which dropped them back into the chasing pack.

Coetzee certainly had easier conditions to deal with on The Links than those who played it on Thursday in the rain and mist, but he still found it playing long and difficult and also had the added pressure of playing in a fourball with Sunshine Tour chairman Johann Rupert and partnering Jeremy Ord, CEO of Dimension Data, in the betterball competition.

“I told my mother that I have got to play well, especially in front of the big boys,” he said. “Jeremy has been a great partner and Johann Rupert keeps us all busy, so it has been fun.”

Coetzee will now play the his third round tomorrow on the Montagu course which could play straight into his hands, especially as the fourth round will also take place on Montagu on Sunday, giving him a taste of what is necessary if he is to win his fourth and certainly biggest Sunshine Tour title.

Coetzee was not the only player to have performed exceptionally on The Links on Friday.

Defending champion Darren Fichardt also put in a sterling effort, finishing with a seven-under par 66 which included five birdies on a flawless back nine.

He is on five-under par for the tournament, but could use his win last year to his advantage as he goes in search of his third Dimension Data Pro-Am title – he also won in 2003 – and 11th Sunshine Tour title overall.