Daniel van Tonder is on track to claim his fourth victory in his last six Sunshine Tour starts after cementing his position at the top of the Investec Royal Swazi Open leaderboard before Saturday’s final round at the Gary Player Country Club.
The Johannesburg professional added 11 points in Friday’s third round, lifting him to 38 points overall and tightening his grip on a tournament he has led from day one.
‘The greens were a bit firmer out there today and they put some flags in the corners, so if you attacked them and misjudged yourself you were in trouble. But, other than that, everything about my game still feels great,’ said Van Tonder.
Neil Schietekat is his nearest challenger with 24 points following a day in which he added seven points to his total. Anton Haig worked his way into a tie for third place on 22 points after his third round of eight points, and JC Ritchie also ended the day on 22 points following a haul of six points.
Van Tonder is in easily the best form of his professional career, which he puts down to a combination of having good sponsors, his wife’s calming influence on the bag, and his new diet of intermittent fasting. The intermittent fasting, in particular, has been a game changer for him.
It’s something Van Tonder picked up during lockdown, when he lost 25kg in a month and a half.
‘It’s actually scary how much we eat in a day. Now I only have one meal a day, and that’s dinner. At 10am I have a protein shake, and I pack a bit of biltong and a protein bar into my golf bag in case I get hungry on the course. But my body is used to it now. It just feels like I have more energy throughout the day and can concentrate better.’
And he’s clearly focused on adding to his 2014 triumph in the Investec Royal Swazi Open, which would make him the first double winner since Des Terblanche won in 2003 and 2007.