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Golf | SA

Oliver Bekker © Gallo Images

Oliver on song at Telkom

Oliver Bekker made eight birdies and an eagle on his way to a second-round 64 at Centurion Country Club on Thursday, moving into a tie for the lead after 36 holes at the Telkom PGA Pro-Am.

“I’ve been scoring very well. If I’ve got chances to make birdie I seem to take them. I made a big putt on the last hole, about a 20-footer, to tie for the lead,” he said.

The 2012 Di-Data Pro-Am winner was excited for the prospects that 2013 held, especially after reaching 14-under-par for the tournament and joiningPH McIntyre atop the leaderboard.

“I'm looking forward to tomorrow and to playing in the final group, first tournament of the year,” said Bekker. “You get into that pressure situation and you’ve got to see if you can get used to it again. I’m playing well at the moment, but I don’t want to peak too early!”

The Stellenbosch local started the round with an eagle at 10, but wobbled after making bogeys at 11 and 15 and slipped back to level-par for the day. His favourite holes at Centurion will surely be 16, 17 and 18, which have given up six birdies to him over the first two rounds. Those three holes helped him steady out the round.

“The first holes were frustrating, because I hit it close and made the putt for eagle on the 10th, but then three-putted the next. I birdied the last three of the nine and that got me going again, but it wasn’t looking too good at one stage,” he said.

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McIntyre played in the morning field and set the clubhouse lead early in the day. He’s excited for the new season after such a promising start.

“With these two rounds so far there’s a lot of confidence building and I’d like to keep it up,” he said. “Hopefully it’s a good year this year. I’m glad this tournament is here so I can build some confidence for the Joburg Open.”

Desvonde Botes plays out of Centurion Country Club and dominated the course in 62 shots on Thursday, setting the low score for the tournament with his 10-under-par round. The 38-year-old moved 26 places up the leaderboard and into a share of third.

“It all just fell together, and I’m looking forward to the season after a day like that. It’s always nice having some confidence going into the bigger events, but for now we’ve got to get through tomorrow,” he said.

Joining him was Steven Ferreira, who earned a share of third with his second-round 67. Ferreira will complete the leading three-ball on Friday, and looked forward to having a crack at glory so early on in the season.

“It’s good to get yourself up there, and it will be nice to play at the top tomorrow. It’s definitely going to test my nerves, but hopefully I can stick to my game plan and play the shots that need to be played,” he said.


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