Weekend off for Irish quintet after South African struggle

by | Jan 31, 2020 | 0 comments

Michael Hoey / Image from Getty Images

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It’s been a week to forget, on the golf course at least, for Ireland’s five competing stars at the Limpopo Championship in South Africa.

All five players missed out on a sharp cut-mark which saw players at two-under par through 36-holes mercilessly dumped by some hot scoring around Koro Creek and Euphoria – a reminder, if it was needed, of the standard one has to meet in order to succeed on the Challenge Tour.

Tramore’s Robin Dawson came closest but despite finding a one-under par 71 on day two, his even par total fell three shots shy of the required mark.

Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney also enjoyed a better day in shooting 71 but his plus-one tally was also left behind.

Conor O’Rourke added a 74 to his opening 75 to fall well short at five-over while both Michael Hoey and Gavin Moynihan retired early in their second rounds.

At the head of affairs, Louis de Jager and Jacques Kruyswijk both fired eight-under par rounds of 64 at Koro Creek Golf Club to take a share of the lead into the weekend.

The South African pair hold a two-shot advantage on 13-under par over their teenage compatriot Wilco Nienaber on another day where homegrown players continued to dominate.

De Jager followed a flawless five under par opening round of 67 at Euphoria Golf Club with a second consecutive bogey-free round on day two, this time at co-host venue Koro Creek.

The 32-year-old, a five-time Sunshine Tour winner, is bidding for his first European Challenge Tour title and took a step closer to that goal with three birdies over his closing four holes.

“I’m really happy with that round out there today,” he said. “The windy was gusty and blowing all kinds of directions. It wasn’t constant at all, but I putted well and I’m really happy to get it around in that score.

“It’s a strong golf course out there today. You have to get it away off the tee and hit it straight, which suits me, and I managed to do that really well. I’m in the perfect position heading into the weekend, so I’m looking forward to going out there again tomorrow.”

Kruyswijk also maintained the momentum from an opening five under par round of 67, reeling off seven birdies and an eagle on day two to climb to the top of the leaderboard.

South African Hennie du Plessis, who returned to action at the end of last year from a lengthy injury, occupies solo fourth place, one shot clear of first round leader Daniel van Tonder and defending champion JC Ritchie.

Welshman Rhys Enoch carded the tied low-round of the day, a scintillating eight-under par round of 64, to jump up the leaderboard into 21st position.

Full scoring HERE

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