Keith Horne’s second consecutive 68 lifted him to eight under par overall and into a three-stroke lead at the Lombard Insurance Classic.
When Horne won his first Sunshine Tour title in May 1998, Ernie Els was world No 1, Tiger Woods second and Davis Love III third. On Sunday, at the Arabella Country Estate, the 50-year-old Horne has the opportunity to win in an entirely new generation.
Horne showed his intent early in the second round of the 54-hole tournament when he opened with two straight birdies.
His nearest challengers are Rupert Kaminski and Louis Albertse on five under par, both of whom were two years old when Horne claimed his maiden Sunshine Tour title. Kaminski worked his way into contention with a second round of 69 while Albertse signed for a 73.
One of the longstanding campaigners of South African golf is chasing a significant 10th title on the Sunshine Tour.
Horne has fond memories of Arabella having won a Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament here in 2017.
“I’m feeling good. My results haven’t been great of late and I was struggling a bit. But now that the overseas tours have opened up for me again after Covid-19, I’ve been working hard and it’s nice to see it paying off,” said Horne, who is relishing playing a golf course where he feels more competitive.
“We’ve been playing golf courses that are bombers’ paradises recently and I can’t compete against the youngsters anymore. It’s nice to play a stunning course like this that requires thought, where the greens are hard and fast, and where I don’t feel like I’m playing catch-up all the time. I can be competitive, and it’s inspiring me as well. It’s so nice to be back in a position to win again.”