EUROPEAN TOUR

Caldwell makes it into the weekend as Blaauw keeps hold of Joburg Open lead

John McDonell  

Jonathan Caldwell.  Photo by Golffile

Jonathan Caldwell carded a one under par 70 at the 2020 Joburg Open to make it into the weekend.

Caldwell had a great start, parring the first three holes and then birdied  4, 5 and 6 to make the turn on three under par.

He bogeyed 10 and 12 before picking up another birdie on the par 5 14th but finished his round with a disappointing bogey on the par 4 18th to leave himself in a tie for 38th place.

Fellow countryman Cormac Sharvin shot a three over of 74, leaving him on one over for the tournament and one shot outside the cut.  It was effectively over for the Ardglass man on the second hole where he had a quadruple bogey on the par 4 2nd hole.

He rallied well with an eagle on the par 5 4th but followed it up with another bogey on the par 3 5th, before picking up another birdie on the par 4 7th to make the turn on two over par.

Three more bogeys followed on the back nine with just two birdies leaving him on three over for his round and one over for the tournament.

FULL LEADEBOARD

 Jacques Blaauw maintained his one shot overnight lead as the weather affected second round of the 2020 Joburg Open was completed but he had fellow South African Wilco Nienaber breathing down his neck.

The home favourites had been locked together at 12 under par when play was suspended for one hour and 50 minutes due to a dangerous weather situation on Friday afternoon, with talented 20-year-old Nienaber on the 15th green and Blaauw two holes further down the course.

But Blaauw was able to hole his 20 foot birdie putt on the 17th green when play resumed, before safely parring the last to sign for a sensational 63 and head into the weekend on 13 under at Randpark Golf Club.

First round co-leader Nienaber, meanwhile, bogeyed the 16th to slip two shots behind Blaauw but got the shot back on the par three 17th and parred the 18th to finish the day in second place on 12 under.

Early starter Aaron Cockerill followed up Thursday's opening 64 with a 68 to sit third on ten under.

Shaun Norris was one of 39 players who had to complete their second rounds on Saturday morning, and he parred his final three holes to sit four shots off the lead.

Blaauw, who began the day three shots off the lead, opened his second round with a birdie but gave the shot straight back at the difficult second hole.

After making a gain at the long fourth, Blaauw got another from eight feet on the sixth to move to seven under.

The 34-year-old then closed the front nine with a ten foot birdie on the ninth before reeling off back to back gains on the 11th and 12th.

And when he holed a lengthy eagle putt on the par five 14th, Blaauw moved to 12 under.

He gave himself another birdie chance at the 16th but his 12 foot effort hit the hole and did not drop.

You always want to think you're going to raise the cup. But to be honest there are two more rounds to go. Golf is obviously the job so I need to get that job done - Jacques Blaauw

Blaauw had sent his tee shot at the par three 17th to within 20 feet of the pin just before the hooter sounded at 3.50pm local time.

And when play resumed at 5.40pm, he converted the putt to take the outright lead.

Blaauw was pleased to be able to finish his round on Friday. He said: "I'm just happy that I don't have to come out tomorrow morning but the cherry on top is the 63 so I'm very happy.

"I hit it very well. From fairway to green I hit it very, very well and then obviously made some putts - that is very key.

"I made just one bogey today and obviously you want to keep the bogeys off your card. And I hit a nice, nice bonus eagle on the 14th, which I'm very chuffed about.

"I can't think ahead. Yes, you always want to think you're going to raise the cup. But to be honest there are two more rounds to go. Golf is obviously the job so I need to get that job done."

 

Joburg Open 2020 DSC05859

Jacques Blaauw . Photo by Golffile

Nienaber did not get off to the best of starts, dropping a shot at the second after failing to get on the green in two.

But he bounced back in style, notching birdies at each of the next three holes to grab a share of the lead.

After a good par save from around eight feet at the eighth, the big hitting youngster holed his 18 foot birdie putt on the ninth to move to 11 under.

Nienaber got into tree trouble off the tenth tee but went on to make a valuable par thanks to a lovely third shot.

He gave himself an unlikely birdie opportunity at the long 12th after playing a delightful third shot from the other side of the third tee, but he was not able to hole his putt from the fringe.

Nienaber took advantage of the long 14th from close range to grab a share of the lead alongside countryman Blaauw before the suspension.

But he went on to make his second bogey of the day on the 16th after the restart.

I've really put myself in a good position so I'm really excited to see what happens tomorrow and the day after - Wilco Nienaber

Nienaber made amends at the 17th, though, firing a birdie on his way to a second round 67.

He said: "(A delay) is never nice but I think I had it on the part of the course where I really didn't want it.

"The 18th, 17th, 16th and 15th are quite tough, without having to start on them.

"But I got through it and I finished so I'm happy.

"I've really put myself in a good position so I'm really excited to see what happens tomorrow and the day after."

Swede Niklas Lemke made the biggest move on Saturday morning, bagging four birdies in a row from the fourth and another on the ninth in his remaining six holes to join England's Richard Bland, Welshman Rhys Enoch and American Julian Suri at eight under.

Dane Joachim B. Hansen bogeyed his final two holes on Saturday morning, while Wales' Oliver Farr and South African Zander Lombard both made gains on their final three to complete the group five shots off the lead.

 


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