Two-time IGT Challenge Tour winner Jason Roets and Ruan Korb set Zwartkop Country Club alight to grab a share of the second round lead with Pretoria pair Dylan Kok and Christopher van der Merwe in the Zwartkop Better Ball on Tuesday.
Joint overnight leaders Kok and Van der Merwe racked up six birdies and an eagle on the back nine to remain at the top of the pile with an impressive 59, but Roets and Korb blistered the par-71 layout in 57 strokes to grab a share of the lead at 22 under.
Bennie van der Merwe and Kyle Lucas, who shared the overnight lead, are just one off the pace after combining for 60, while brothers Estiaan and Ruan Conradie moved within striking distance at 20-under with a strong 59.
Pretoria amateurs Richard Joubert and Etienne Janse van Rensburg improved three shots on their first round 63 to move into fifth at 19-under, while Aaron Luchtenburg and Morne du Plessis – who shared the first round lead on 61 – slipped to sixth after a round of 63.
Roets and Korb lagged two off the pace at the start of day two.
The pair burst from the blocks with five birdies on the trot and kept the momentum going with a pair of birdies around the turn. A brace of eagles and three further gains moved them straight to the top.
‘The format for the second round was scrambled drive and we really made the most of the format to give ourselves chances to score,’ said 24-year-old Korb from Silver Lakes. ‘Whenever one of us had a decent lie or a good shot in, we took advantage and it paid off again and again.’
Roets, from Eye of Africa, came into the week in hot form, having won his second IGT Challenge Tour title this season in last week’s Ruimsig Challenge.
‘I didn’t have a partner for the Better Ball, and a mate of mine, Maritz Wessels, told me he knew Jason didn’t have a partner either, so I asked Jason if we could team up,’ said Korb. ‘I might owe Maritz if we go on to win on Wednesday.’
Korb said a bit of solid dovetailing gave the pair the start they wanted.
‘Jason just missed a birdie chance at the first, but I got a good read off his line and holed my birdie putt,’ said Korb. ‘I sunk a seven-footer for birdie at the second. At the short hole, I drove the bunker and Jason missed the green right. I took his lie in the semi-rough and chipped it in for another birdie.
‘The tees at the fourth were forward and we both hit three-woods off the tee and nine-irons in. Jason went first and gave me another great line for our fourth birdie and rolled his birdie putt in at the fifth to take us to five-under.’
The pair split the profits on the back nine, but Korb said he missed the chance to make it a 56.
‘I hit my drive six feet behind the hole at 13 and holed the eagle putt,’ he said. ‘I chipped in at 15 for a birdie and Jason chipped in for eagle at 16. Unfortunately I missed a five-foot eagle chance at 18.
‘We’ve never played together in a tournament before and that’s perhaps why we dovetailed so well. We both played our own games and we helped each other with lines. It was such fun to shoot a record round and let’s just hope we can do it again in the final round.’
Picture of Korb courtesy of CJ du Plooy
Second Round Scores
All competitors SA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated as AMA
120 – Ruan Korb & Jason Roets 63 57; Christopher van der Merwe AMA & Dylan Kok 61 59
121 – Bennie van der Merwe & Kyle Lucas 61 60
122 – Estiaan Conradie & Ruan Conradie 63 59
123 – Etienne Janse van Rensburg AMA & Richard Joubert AMA 63 60
124 – Aaron Lugtenburg & Morne du Plessis AMA 61 63
126 – Jack Duthie & Michael Schutz 66 60
128 – Russel Franz & Simon Kruger 64 64; Hendrikus Stoop AMA & Divan Marais 64 64; Pieter Moolman & Brandon Pieters 64 64
129 – Stephan du Toit AMA & Keaton Slatter AMA 67 62; Eric Nel AMA & Nevill Mitchell AMA 65 64
130 – Tiaan Greyvenstein AMA & Maritz Wessels 66 64; CJ Levey & JL Lowies AMA 66 64; Juan Langeveld & Roberto Lupini 68 62
131 – Christiaan Basson AMA & Christopher McGuire AMA 67 64
134 – Stephan de Beer & Paul de Beer 66 68
135 – WM Coetzee AMA & Matthew Rossouw AMA 68 67
137 – Nicklas van Wyk AMA & Morne van der Waltsleben 71 66
139 – Dylan Morton AMA & Cameron Gunning 72 67
140 – Estiaan de Jager AMA & Jurie Roux AMA 71 69
142 – Wian Alberts AM & Gerhard van Schalkwyk AMA 74 68