Van Zyl shares Pro-Am lead
Jaco van Zyl has lined up a record third consecutive Telkom PGA Pro-Am title as he heads into Friday’s final round.
Jaco van Zyl has lined up a record third consecutive Telkom PGA Pro-Am title as he heads into Friday’s final round at Centurion Country Club in a share of the lead with Justin Walters.
After a good night’s rest to soothe his recent travel woes from Europe, Van Zyl looked a lot more comfortable on a course he understands well as he posted a 66 to climb to 11 under par for the tournament.
Then in the afternoon, Walters closed off with an eagle two on the ninth for a 65 that pulled him level with Van Zyl.
They are three strokes clear of Jake Roos, Charl Coetzee and Jean Hugo.
Van Zyl teed off the 10th and started slowly, turning level for the round. But then he came home in 30 to surge clear of the field.
“The front nine, which was my second nine, is more the scoring nine on this course. Both the par fives are very reachable, and it’s got a couple of short par fours and more generous pin placements,” said Van Zyl.
“I felt a lot more comfortable and am looking forward to the final round.”
Walters is relishing the prospect of teeing it up alongside the European Tour campaigner on the final day. Although he did admit in good humour, “I’m not surprised how well Jaco has been doing on the European Tour this year. Actually, I’d prefer it if he stayed off our tour. But it will be fun and maybe I can learn a few things from him.”
As Van Zyl’s target stood for most of the day, it seemed nobody was capable of catching him in a tournament he’s dominated for the past two years, and also twice finished second in.
But Walters made a good charge with an outward nine that saw him turn at four under for the day, and then a homeward nine capped by the eagle two on the ninth where he hit a three iron to 10 feet.
“I couldn’t have asked for any better than to finish with an eagle. Especially after I three-putted the previous hole for bogey. I felt I had Jaco in my sights at that stage and let it slip. So I was happy to draw level on the last.”
In the chasing pack, Hugo definitely has the potential to catch the leaders. Coetzee was also in good scoring form on Thursday, making two eagles – both of them four irons hit to 12 feet. And Roos is hungry to find some form, and confidence, following a disappointing performance on the European Challenge Tour.
TOP 10 LEADERBOARD
(RSA unless stated, par 72):
133 – Jaco Van Zyl 67 66, Justin Walters 68 65
136 – Jake Roos 70 66, Charl Coetzee 70 66, Jean Hugo 69 67
137 – Doug McGuigan 69 68, Dean O’Riley 70 67
138 – Albert Pistorius 71 67, Darren Fichardt 65 73
139 – Merrick Bremner 71 68, Mark Murless 69 70, Clinton Whitelaw 70 69
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