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Buitendag winds it up in the wind to lead by five

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Jade Buitendag from Border took a huge step towards a maiden professional title on the IGT Challenge Tour as he opened up a five-shot lead on the chasing pack in the second round of the Wingate Challenge in Tshwane.

Using his well-honed skills to navigate the pummelling wind at Wingate Park Country Club, the joint first-round leader moved to the top of the pile at 11-under-par 133 with a sublime 67 on Tuesday.

‘The conditions were really tough,’ said Buitendag, who book-ended his round with a birdie-eagle combination at the first and second holes, and a brace of birdies at the closing holes.

‘We were playing in a three-club wind, so it was pretty great to come out of the gate with a birdie-eagle start. It definitely set the tone of the day. I always enjoy playing in the wind, so I had a lot of fun and my experience in the wind definitely benefited me out there.’

Buitendag split the fairway with a five-iron and parked a wedge from 137 metres six feet from the pin at the first.

‘I made the putt and took the driver out at the second hole,’ said the East London golfer. ‘I drove it down the left and hit eight-iron to eight feet. Boxed the birdie putt and followed with two good pars, but unfortunately I dropped the next two holes.’

‘I should have hit a nine-iron at the fifth, but I went with the eight. I hit it too long and ended up three-putting for bogey. At six, I leaked my tee shot right and I was just about dead behind a tree. A bogey was actually a good result. But I got myself back to two-under for the day with a birdie at the ninth, and managed to reel in three more on the back nine.’

Buitendag sunk six-footers for birdies at both the closing holes and was delighted with his irons and putter after a good day’s graft.

‘I have been striking the ball well for a few weeks now, but the putter has started to come around and I’ve rolled the ball nicely in the last two days,’ said the HPC TuksGolf Academies member.

‘We still have 18 holes to go and there are a lot of guys behind me capable of shooting really low scores. Nothing is a foregone conclusion in golf, so I’m not counting any chickens just yet, but it’s a great feeling to be scoring well again.’

Pieter Moolman moved to second at six-under, and Sunshine Tour rookie Teagan Moore sits in third spot at five-under after both players carded rounds of 70.

Ruan Korb lost his grip on a share of the overnight lead after carding a 74, and the Pretoria golfer slipped to a tie for fourth at four-under with Dean O’Riley and Juan Langeveld.

Besides two 67s from Buitendag and Langeveld, the only other player to break 70 in the testing conditions was local favourite Estiaan Conradie, whose 68 earned the Wingate Park golfer a share of seventh at three-under.

Picture of Buitendag courtesy of CJ du Plooy

Second Round Scores
All competitors SA unless otherwise specified and amateurs are indicated as AMA:
133 – Jade Buitendag 66 67
138 – Pieter Moolman 68 70
139 – Teagan Moore 69 70
140 – Dean O’Riley 69 71, Juan Langeveld 73 67, Ruan Korb 66 74
141 – Estiaan Conradie 73 68, Eric Nel AMA 68 73
142 – Ruan Conradie 71 71
143 – Jonathan Waschefort 70 73
144 – Owen Grobler 73 71
145 – Divan Marais 72 73
146 – Reynhard Reynecke AMA 71 75, JP Cooper AMA 72 74
147 – Maritz Wessels 74 73, Eric Park (KOR) 72 75, Luke Brown AMA 74 73, Andrew Carlsson AMA 71 76
148 – Michael Dreyer 72 76, Teboho Sefatsa 73 75
149 – Jadrick Fourie AMA 76 73, Bennie van der Merwe 73 76, Arno Pretorius AMA 71 78, Chase Paton AMA 72 77, Patrick Thompson 73 76
150 – Clinton Grobler 74 76, Shaun van Tonder 75 75, Richard Joubert AMA 75 75, Lydon Charnley AMA 76 74
151 – Joubert van Eeden 76 75, Leon Visser AMA 70 81
152 – Thabi Ngcobo 78 74
153 – Christiaan Pretorius 76 77
154 – Tertius van Den Berg 74 80, David Mofokeng (LSO) 76 78, Gareth Anderson AMA 78 76
155 – Helary Jules AMA 76 79, Marais Visagie 76 79, Peetie van der Merwe AMA 70 85, Stephan du Toit AMA 79 76
156 – Leon Vorster AMA 74 82, NJ van der Walt AMA 77 79
157 – Divan van der Merwe AMA 80 77, Danie Pretorius 83 74


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