Pieter Moolman made it 36 holes bogey-free as he posted a six under par round of 66 to take a one-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Mangaung Open, where round two was suspended due to darkness following a three-hour rain delay at the start of the day.
The South African carded four birdies and an eagle at Schoeman Park Golf Club to move to 13 under par, one stroke ahead of Dutchman Lars van Meijel who also posted a 66, but at the other course at Bloemfontein Golf Club.
Englishman John Parry, South African duo MJ Viljoen, who still has 12 holes left to play in round two, and Michael G Palmer and Germany’s Nick Bachem share third place on 11 under par.
Moolman, who returned to Bloemfontein Golf Club this morning to finish round one, believes his short game has been instrumental to keeping bogeys off the scorecard this week.
“I was surprised with how well I scored today. I didn’t hit it well but managed my game brilliantly. I’m delighted because it was a long day, I have played 28 holes and I’m looking forward to round three.
“My short game helped me a lot today. I wasn’t great off the tee and therefore I missed a lot of greens. My chipping and putting saved me lots of shots and that was key to my good score today.”
The 31-year-old had to maintain his concentration this morning as the re-start of round one was delayed due to water-logged greens, however he is looking forward to beginning round three with an opportunity to claim a maiden European Challenge Tour title.
“I got here early to prepare and start warming up but then it kept getting delayed and it stopped my routine but you just have to mentally prepare again and go from there.
“I’m excited for the next couple of days because I am in the mix for round three and I can’t ask for more than that.”
Eight players share seventh place on ten under par, including round one co-leaders Alejandro Del Rey, Luke Jerling and Scott Fernandez. Del Rey has 12 holes left to play in round two, while Jerling and Fernandez have 15.
Round two was suspended at 6:49pm and will restart at 7am on Saturday March 4. Round three, which will take place at Bloemfontein Golf Club only, will not start before 11:30am local time.