Lucky day for Nel, Campillo

2013-12-14 00:00

UMHLANGA — Colin Nel and Jorge Campillo will for the rest of their lives laugh at those who tell them that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.

No surprise because the duo walked away — roughly at the same time — from the Mount Edgecombe golf course yesterday, Friday the 13th, with 59s on their scorecards for the second round of the Nelson Mandela championship.

Nel sunk the last putt of his dream round shortly before 3 pm at the 18th hole, while Campillo completed his day at the ninth hole at about the same time.

They bumped into each other in the score holder’s tent — amazed that something so extraordinary could happen to both of them.

The European series has never produced a round of 59, and Nel and Campillo’s great performances will unfortunately not be reflected in the records because placing of the ball was allowed this week.

Not that this dampened the duo’s excitement — for Nel his 59 (an 11 under the par 70 lay-out) was an enormous improvement of 18 shots on his 77 in the first round, and Campillo’s 59 handed him the joint leader position when he walked off the course.

Daniel Brooks later caught up with him and finished the day after 11 holes with a lead of one shot over Campillo and the Brit Matthew Baldwin (62 in the second round).

“I thought there was a 59 out there. My caddy, Jorga, studied the course on Tuesday and said he believed that we can score a 59 … and I agreed with him,” said Campillo. “Now we hear there were two of us who did it. It was not easy, but it was possible. The course was wet, but it was playable and the greens were good.”

Nel said he had joked about a 59 at the start of the day.

“Before we teed off I said to Mick Hollick [one of his playing partners] in a semi-arrogant way: ‘Where’s the first tee and what is the course record?’ I was seven over after the first round and had to go low today, so I told him I want to see whether I could get to that,” said Nel.

“The putter was hot — 22 putts, with 11 over both nines, tells a story. As a pro one dreams of 22 putts, so it is clear everything fell into place.”

Both Nel and Campillo said they hope to repeat their performances today.

“It would be nice to repeat the performance and grab the trophy — stranger things have happened before,” said Nel.

The leading South Africans are Branden Grace, Oliver Bekker and Dawie van der Walt at 10 under. Grace and Bekker both scored rounds of 64 and 66 while Van der Walt played 13 holes.

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