Jonathan Caldwell ensured his safe passage to the weekend rounds of the Joburg Open, however the news wasn’t so good for Cormac Sharvin who’ll fall shy of the projected cut mark.
As fading light suspended play on Friday, Clandeboye professional Caldwell was safely in the clubhouse at three-under par after adding a round of 70 to his opening 69. Making his second appearance at Randpark Golf Club this year, the 36-year old carded four birdies on Friday to share 37th overnight, albeit 10 shots back of Jacque Blaauw’s lead.
Ardglass professional Sharvin meanwhile had eased into the tournament nicely after an opening two-under par round of 69 but saw his weekend hopes derailed by a quadruple bogey 8 at his eleventh hole on day two. One-under for the tournament at the time, the major hiccup was too much to recover from with the 28-year old carding a three-over par 74 to fall for one-over for the tournament, three shots shy of the projected two-under par cut.
It was a surprise package in home player Blaauw who worked his way through a difficult day of wind and a weather delay to sign for a sublime 63 that earned him the clubhouse lead in the suspended second round at Randpark. Blaauw heads the field on 13-under par, one shot clear of countryman Wilco Nienaber who was also able to complete his second round of 67 before darkness fell. Play was suspended at 15:49 because of the threat of lightning, and resumed again at 17:40. The second round will be completed on Saturday morning before the start of the third round.
“I’m very happy I was able to finish. I hit it very well all day and then made some putts. I only made one bogey so I’m very happy. It was very windy out there, but I found it didn’t affect my distances that much,” said Blaauw, who is searching for his maiden European Tour title after coming close with a second-place finish in the 2015 Tshwane Open.
“I can’t think ahead because there are two more rounds to go. Golf is the job and I need to get that job done. But I’ve done some good work in the build-up to this tournament and I’m very happy with how it’s turning out.”
Blaauw’s putting in particular stood out, with playing partner Scott Jamieson declaring, “I’ve never seen somebody putt as well as he has for the past two days.”
“I’ve switched to the arm-lock putter and I’m very happy with it,” said Blaauw. “I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’s a bit different without spectators, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Nienaber was just as delighted to finish off his second round and remain in contention for this title: “A delay is never nice, and I had it on that part of the course I really didn’t want it. Those last four holes are really tough, but I got through it. I’m happy I finished,” he said after a round which he held together despite not being happy with his tee shots. “Hitting fairways here is key and I didn’t really do that today, so I had more par putts than birdie putts. I made it difficult for myself. But I’m really excited. I’ve put myself in a good position and I’m excited to see what happens on the weekend.”
Canadian Aaron Cockerill is currently in third place on 10 under following his 68 in the morning, while Denmark’s Joachim B Hansen is also on 10 under with two holes to play. Joint first-round leader Shaun Norris is on nine under with three holes of his second round to finish.
- Full scoring HERE