Colin Nel made two eagles at Zebula Golf Estate and soared to eight-under-par, sharing the early second-round lead of the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Bela Bela, Limpopo on Thursday.
“It was a nice round. Many positives came out of it, so I'm very happy.
Those two eagles definitely helped,” he said.
Nel shot an impressive seven-under-par 65 on Thursday to draw level with Dean Burmester ahead of the final round at the R600,000 tournament.
“It's a new place for me,” said Nel.
“Leading Tour School was the last time, which was a few years ago, but we'll take it as an experience and try to enjoy.
“You don't want to get too tied up in the moment, but you also want to have some fun at the same time.”
Nel started at the 10th on the 6829-metre course and wasted no time, carding birdies at the 11th and 12th to get the momentum going.
A birdie at 15 preceded his first eagle of the day, which he made at the 527-metre 18th, leading to a 31-stroke front nine.
“I got off to a decent start, two-under through three,” he said.
“I just hit two good shots – driver and then a six iron to about 15 feet and then rolled in the putt.”
But the Maritzburg Golf Club professional was clearly not content with just one eagle for the day, and added another to his card when he boxed a 10-foot putt at the 517-metre second.
The trick to success at Zebula is reading the pace of its lightning-quick greens, and after receiving some advice from a fellow player, Nel made 27 putts during the second round.
“Compared to yesterday's putting I'll take it,” Nel said.
“I had 33 putts and Ulrich van den berg helped me with a bit of rhythm technique, and I could see on the course today that it was paying off.”
Burmester began the day at five-under-par and was pleased with his steady 69 in windy conditions.
“My game has been good all year, and I feel way more confident this week than I did a week or two ago. I'm on the front foot the whole time, and never feel like I'm catching up,” said Burmester.
Currently in his third year on tour, Burmester enjoyed the thrill of professional golf.
“I love being in contention – that's my goal every week,” he said.
“Someone's got to win, someone's got to lose, and when it's my time to win I'm going to enjoy it.
“If it's this week then that would be a great thing, but just to be in contention is great.” – Sapa