Williams leads Cape Town Open

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iol spt nov23 Mark Williams golfer Gallo Images Mark Williams stormed to eight birdies and a bogey for a 29-stroke back nine to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend at the Cape Town Open.Photo by Luke Walker/ Sunshine Tour / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Mark Williams stormed to eight birdies and a bogey for a 29-stroke back nine at the Royal Cape Golf Club to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend at the Sunshine Tour's Lion of Africa Cape Town Open.

“I hit a good tee shot on 10 and had my stock-standard wedge coming in, the same shot I had yesterday, and I hit it to four feet and made the putt,” Williams said after his round.

“It just gave me that feeling and then I started hitting it close. I had control over the golf ball, made a couple of really good putts and just enjoyed the ride.”

Williams shot a seven-under-par back nine and went on to sign for 67 with only five pars on the card.

He will lead going into the weekend for the first time in his career, but victory was not yet in William's thoughts.

“It feels great to lead and I think I’ve got a pretty good game plan. There’s opportunities to take driver on, but you have respect a lot of the par-fives, and it’s tough to get it close for two,” he said.

“You’ve got to take your chances when you can get them.”

The 28-year-old reached the turn at two-over and looked as if he would let his overnight lead slip, but that all changed on the back nine.

“I enjoy playing in the wind, it kind of keeps me in the present. The most important thing is getting the ball in play and then hitting the next one,” said the Modderfontein Golf Club professional.

“On the less windy courses I don’t seem to focus on one shot at a time, so the wind seems to help me.”

Williams will be looking to consolidate and prepare for the final round as the weekend arrives.

“I’m just trying to get out there and tomorrow do the same thing. It’s always the back nine on the last day that’s going to make all the difference and hopefully I can still be up there,” he said.

“I’m just trying to take it one shot at a time. I want to enjoy the moment – the more times I can get myself up here, the more comfortable I’m going to be.”

Behind Williams were Jake Roos and Dean Burmester, who both shot 67 to move into a share of second at six-under-par.

Looming at five-under were Jaco van Zyl, Attie Schwartzel and Keith Horne. – Sapa

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