Adilson da Silva (Getty Images)
Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva took command of the Africa Open with a stunning second day display at East London Golf Club.
The 41 year old, a regular on the co-sanctioning Sunshine Tour, had birdied five of his first six holes on Thursday, but after a lengthy delay caused by strong winds was only able to par the next two before play was halted for the day.
One behind clubhouse leader Jaco Van Zyl overnight, Da Silva birdied the ninth on his return, then chipped in for eagle at the long 15th and finished with back-to-back birdies - the latter also coming from off the green - for a sensational ten under par 62 and four shot lead.
The round was the best of his professional career, but Da Silva proved it was no fluke as he followed it with a second round 68 after a quick turnaround.
He birdied the short tenth - his second - then bogeyed the 11th, but picked up further shots at the 13th and 15th - the latter after chipping to three feet.
A 15 foot birdie putt at the long first and another gain at the seventh gave him a 14 under par halfway total and commanding six shot clubhouse lead, although he admitted that he may have been on the right side of the draw as Thursday’s morning starters had to face the strongest gusts, which eventually started to move balls on the green.
“I got a good break yesterday,” said Da Silva. “It was extremely hard out there for the morning field, and then I got the break and I just started making some putts.
“I somehow just felt the pace, and my caddie and I are reading the greens very well.
“My putting has been letting me down lately, and it just came alive. I must have had 23, 24 putts, which must make it my best round in putting. I was averaging 32 putts a round in Asia last year.”
South African Darren Fichardt was Da Silva’s nearest challenger on eight under after a second round 67, with the in-form Ricardo Santos a shot further back.
The Portuguese star, 11th on The Race to Dubai after three top-ten finishes in his first five events of the season, shot a 66 which included a 20 foot eagle putt at the par five first.
Van Zyl bogeyed the first, but quickly rediscovered his touch with four birdies in five holes from the third.
He was up to second on nine under as a result, but still five adrift of Da Silva.