11 February 2020 – Casey Jarvis continued his love affair with the Firethorn Course at Randpark Golf Club as he carded a second-round 65 to surge into a two-shot lead on day two of the South African Stroke Play Championship on Tuesday.
Jarvis and Irishman Rowan Lester began the day on six-under, two shots behind round one pacesetter James Wilson from Scotland.
The 16-year-old Boksburg teenager followed an opening 66 with a seven under par effort to set the 36-hole target on 13-under.
Lester stayed in touch with a 67 to finish two off the pace, while a sweet 66 propelled compatriot James Sugrue to joint third on eight-under. The Mallow golfer returned a bogey-free round to join Haider Hussain from England, who offset a pair of bogeys with three birdies.
With the Free State Open and Gauteng North Open trophies already in the silverware cupboard, Jarvis is targeting his third victory in 2020 and Randpark is certainly starting to prove a great hunting ground.
South Africa’s top ranked junior fired a second round eight-under par 64 in the rain on Firethorn en route to his Joburg Junior Open triumph in December. A month later, he produced rounds of 68, 72 and 67 on the 6,746 metre layout in the South African Open Championship, which was set up as a par-71 course.
A one-under 70 on the Bushwillow added up to a seven-under-par 277 total that earned Jarvis a share of 36th in the Sunshine Tour and European Tour co-sanctioned event.
“I really love this course, especially the Firethorn course. It suits my eye and I feel very comfortable on the course, no matter what the conditions are,” said Jarvis.
His round got off to the perfect start with four birdies on the bounce from the 10th tee and kept his foot on the pedal, racking up four more gains.
“I kept the card clean until the seventh, where I had a soft bogey. Being in position for the first time in this sort of tournament, I’m comfortable and really happy in my game. I drove it really nicely and I had only 23 putts, so that’s pretty good going.
“I didn’t putt well at Leopard Creek, but the short game has been improving throughout the week, which is important. I didn’t miss too many putts, and when I missed, it was by inches. I know it’s going to be tough over the next two days, but I’m in good position.
“There are a lot of other guys playing well and feeling happy about their games, too. It could turn into some kind of a shootout. It won’t be easy for anyone, but I’m happy to be in the mix. I’m glad I’ve put myself in this position. Hopefully tomorrow things will go my way. I can only control so much, and I’ll try to do that.”
Strong winds made it tough on the afternoon starters, but GolfRSA No. 1 Martin Vorster and reigning Nomads SA Boys U-17 champion Amilkar Bhana produced some impressive golf to make up ground on the leader.
Fifteen-year-old Bhana sizzled with a 66 while Vorster, last week’s victor in the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek, carded 68 to tie for fifth on seven-under.
Wilson couldn’t conjure up the same magic as his opening round 64.
The Balmore golfer strung together 17 pars before an untimely double-bogey finish dropped him back to a share of seventh. South Africa’s Kyle de Beer, and Dutch golfer Koen Kouwenaar are also in the bus on six-under.
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.