Ulrich van den Berg played The Old Course at St. Andrews in three under par 69 on Friday to join a tie for sixth place that included Richard Sterne at the halfway mark of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Van den Berg won European Tour Qualifying School to secure his card for the 2016 season, but has struggled to translate his seven Sunshine Tour victories into success abroad.
This week, on Open Championship venues, he’s been playing classy golf to sit tied-sixth in a $5-million tournament, which is hosted at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, and St. Andrews.
After 36 holes he was five strokes off the pace of leader Ross Fisher, who won the Tshwane Open at Copperleaf in 2014.
Van den Berg has all pedigree to make it big in Europe, and has proven as much on the local circuit. Mental fortitude will be crucial in securing a top finish this week, as the links setups will test everyone’s patience.
Fellow South African Jbe’ Kruger was nine under par and sole third going into the weekend, having carded 68 at The Old Course on Friday.
Erik van Rooyen, Merrick Bremner, Jaco Ahlers and George Coetzee eased into the weekend tied for 32nd place on three under par for the tournament, followed by Louis Oosthuizen and Rhys West in a share of 50th.