Second-round 70 for McKibbin in Johannesburg

Mark McGowan

Tom McKibbin (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Tom McKibbin shot a two-under-par second-round 70 at the DP World Tour’s Jonsson Workwear Open at Johannesburg’s The Club at Steyn City that saw him safely through to the weekend but seven strokes off the lead.

For the second day in succession, scoring was low at the DP World and Sunshine Tours’ co-sanctioned event, and though he’d opened with a four-under 68, McKibben knew that he’d likely need another round in red figures to make the 36-hole cut.

He got off to the perfect start as he rolled one in for birdie at the tenth (his first), but back-to-back bogeys on three and four dropped him outside the provisional cut line which early indications showed could to be as low as -4 or even -5. His second birdie of the day came at the par-5 16th and he’d make the turn at level par for his round.


He’d card his third birdie at the third hole to get back under par for the day, and another followed at the par-3 fifth hole. Having birdied the three par-5s he’d faced so far in the round, he failed to make it four for four when he settled for par at the sixth, and he’d par the remaining three to sign for a two-under-par round of 70, leaving him on -6 for the tournament, tied 46th, and seven off the lead.

Just eight strokes covers the field, with Nick Bachem’s 66 taking him to -13 and 15 players tied for 63rd at -5. Bachem strung eight birdies together, offset by just two bogeys as he backed up his opening 65 with another excellent effort, and the German takes a one stroke lead into the weekend.

Sami Välimäki and Romain Langasque are the nearest challengers at -12, the latter’s 64 which included two eagles was the joint-lowest round of the day, matched only by local man Ockie Strydom who birdied nine of the eighteen holes to rise into a six-way tie for fourth.

Bachem credits his short game as the key to his low scoring so far, having been a little inconsistent with his ball striking. “My chipping and putting is amazing the first two rounds,” he said.

“Yesterday I was hitting the ball so bad, I can’t remember when I hit my irons so bad, but I made every pitch close to the hole, every up and down, holed every putt inside four or five metres, so after the round I was pretty shocked about the seven under!

“Today I felt like I played much better but I didn’t hole all the putts, then on the back nine they went in and it was pretty nice.

“It’s awesome, I was right up there in Kenya two weeks ago (starting 66-67 at the Magical Kenya Open, it didn’t go how I wanted but I learned a lot (which will put) me in a better position mentally for the next two rounds.”


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