Tristen Strydom will take a one-stroke lead into the weekend of the Sunshine Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship following a magnificent eight-under-par 64 in tricky conditions at Serengeti Estates on Friday.
Strydom’s bogey-free 64 was a remarkable round of golf considering the windy conditions and the challenging Serengeti greens. It lifted him to 11 under par overall and one stroke clear of Pieter Moolman, who signed for a 68 to keep himself in contention.
Strydom, who lives at Serengeti, showed just how comfortable he feels on this golf course when he managed to make par on the par-five 8th after finding the water there.
Such was the quality of his golf that it prompted his playing partner, Michael Hollick, to declare that it was the best round of golf he’d witnessed in the last 10 years.
“I played beautifully tee to green,” said Strydom, who didn’t seem to mind the difficult conditions. “I gave myself a lot of good opportunities and fortunately took advantage of them.
“I really feel comfortable with the golf course and it’s such a nice environment that we’re playing in. I’m just having fun and playing almost carefree golf.
“The greens and the wind are the greatest challenge here. The wind normally picks up in the afternoon and they can tuck the flags on these greens if they want to. That makes it challenging, but I look forward to that challenge.”
George Coetzee managed to work his way up to seven under overall through 36 holes, which puts him in third place. But Strydom has learned enough to know that he’ll need to keep pushing forward over the next two days and not get comfortable.
“It can change quickly out here,” he said. “There are a bunch of good players down the leaderboard and they’ll come out with guns blazing on the weekend. So hopefully I can keep the momentum.”
With this being the final tournament of the current season, Strydom will wrap up his best season since turning professional in 2017. He’s currently 12th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.
“It feels good to be where I am. I had a rough start to my career and learned a lot in my first year. I set myself goals at the beginning of this season and fortunately it’s gone my way.
“I’m very pleased with where I’m at. But I’m not satisfied. I can still be better and work harder.”
By Michael Vlismas