Mouton’s 64 points to another low scoring day at SA Stroke Play
Par took an almighty hammering from Jaco Mouton on day three of the South African Amateur Stroke Play at the Mount Edgecombe.
Playing in the first match of the day, Mouton took advantage of the windless conditions to blitz the No 1 course in eight-under-par 64. But the 22-year-old was more impressed with the fact that he managed a flawless round after dropping eight shots in the previous two rounds.
“I was two under in the first round when I blew it with a double bogey at the 18th and yesterday I dropped four shots that nearly cost me the cut,” said Mouton. “The front nine is the place to really go low and today I had one mission and that was to keep my card clean and use my chances.”
After an opening 74, Mouton holed a 15-footer for birdie at the 18th for another 74 and just managed to sneak into the field for the final two rounds.
“In the first round I hit driver at the 18th and ended up with a double bogey, so I was going for a 3-iron off the tee,” he explained. “Then I heard the cut was looking like 148 and I knew I needed a birdie to make it, so I dug the driver out again. Luckily the putting lessons with Martin du Toit paid off just at the right time.”
Mouton launched his third round attack with successive birdies and picked up two more, at the fourth and eighth holes, to complete his outward nine in four-under 32.
“I got another one at the 12th but lipped out for birdies at 13 and 14, so it could have been even lower,” explained Mouton, who collected three over the closing holes to complete his inward loop in 32.
Low scoring seems to be commonplace for Mouton when the pressure is on. Just two weeks ago, he pipped South Africa’s number one Danie van Tonder at the post with a final round 65 to win the North Gauteng Open at Pecanwood.
“I spent nearly eight months with Martin to reinvent my putting stroke, so it’s great to walk onto a golf course with confidence in your putting stroke,” said Mouton. “It’s also great to know that when the chips are down, I can retaliate with the kind of round I put together today. I played very well in the practice rounds, but the first two rounds really put me on the back foot. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going on Friday.”
Although the 10-shot swing doesn’t him in contention with the leader going out at nine-under, it did go quite a ways to launch him from four over to four-under par and heading towards the top 10 for the tournament.
“I expect the guys in front to go just as low, because there is barely any wind out there and the front nine is there for the taking today,” he said..
“But if I can walk away with a top 10 finish here I would have done well. It’s something really good to build on the year.”
Van Tonder and local favourite Jared Harvey will be chasing hard this afternoon to catch up to overnight leader David Law. The Scotsman shot rounds of 64 and 67 to lead the event at 13-under-par 131, with Alexander Levy of France one shot back after rounds of 65 and 67.
Harvey with rounds of 69 and 65 and Van Tonder, who shot two 67s, are three off the pace.