Ruaidhri McGee credited a change in mentality as a huge factor for bouncing back from a missed cut last week with a stress free 66 at the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt Estate.
The Derry native, who earned full status on the Challenge Tour last term after impressing on a series of invites in the summer, is in a share of 4th place on six-under, just two shots adrift of Casey Jarvis.
McGee carded seven birdies including three in a row either side of the turn, with his only blemish coming on the fifth hole of the Montagu Course.
“It was a good day and I just played very solid,” said the 32-year-old. “Plotted my way around the course and held a few putts and made birdies when I had a chance and tried not to do anything stupid.
“I think overall I was really happy mentally; I said to myself just play A to B and take it one at a time. I hadn’t been doing that last week so that was the big thing for me.”
McGee’s 66 was the best score on the Montagu Course with just he and Spaniard Alvaro Quiros inside the top-15 after playing their first rounds on that course. If that proves to be the tougher of the three courses on offer this week then he is well placed to make a charge over the next 54 holes.
“It’s a fantastic place, one of the nicest we stop at for sure, the weather is great and everyone is so friendly,” McGee noted.
“It feels like a big event and you always want to play well in the big ones.
“More of the same, just keep hitting it from A to B and plot my way around the course, hopefully hole a few putts and take it from there.”
Meanwhile, Conor Purcell continued his fine from with a three-under par opener on the Links course. The Portmarnock ace, who enjoyed a top-7 finish in Cape Town last week, traded five birdies with two bogeys to sit in a share of 26th spot overnight at minus three.
- Full scoring HERE