George Coetzee eased his way into a one-stroke lead in the Mediclinic Invitational with a composed 65 at Centurion Country Club on Friday.
Coetzee heads the field on 20 under par, one stroke clear of Jake Redman who signed for a third round of 64 on Friday. Stefan Wears-Taylor, Louis Albertse and Ruan Korb are all currently tied for third on 17 under par.
Coetzee was naturally delighted with his round of seven under – his second of the past three rounds – but for a different reason than just what it means for his score.
“I’ve been trying to post a score of seven under every day like my team did last Sunday,” Coetzee said with a reference to his beloved Liverpool Football Club and their 7-0 victory over Manchester United.
His scoring is also testament to just how comfortable he feels on this golf course.
“It’s been a good couple of days and I’m happy with the way things have gone. I basically grew up here, practised here and was coached here for many years. I know the course very well.”
Coetzee has certainly made an art of returning home to local fairways on the Sunshine Tour and winning. Since 2014 there has only been one year – in 2017 – when he has not won at least once on the Sunshine Tour.
“I’m quite fresh mentally and am trying to just stay in the moment this week. That’s all part of the psychology of the game and it’s something I’m always working on. The golf feels solid but I’m not relying on anything specific. I’m just plodding along.”
As much as he’ll be a favourite in the final round, Coetzee is taking nothing for granted against a quality field behind him.
“There is nothing comfortable about leading tournaments. It’s a grind but it’s exciting. You don’t get this opportunity too often in the game and I’m excited to learn and get better at trying to seal the deal.”
By Michael Vlismas