Kitwe – Riekus Nortje secured his spot atop the leaderboard on Friday at the Zambia Open when he shot a perfect second round five-under 67 to total 12-under-par at Nkana Golf Club.
Starting on the 10th, Nortje racked up four birdies on that nine but things began to slow a bit on the homeward stretch. He only managed a single birdie there but that round takes him right to the top.
"I feel pretty good," he said.
"It’s always nice working in a bogey-free round. It gives me quite a bit of a momentum for tomorrow."
As has been alluded to by so many players this week, the Nkana layout is narrow and challenging, yet very rewarding if you play your shots right, and Nortje was pleased not to drop a shot today.
"Today I didn’t make a lot of mistakes and when I did make a mistake, I corrected it," he said,
"I know two shots is not a lot but it is always nice to be leading. But around this course anything can happen and I will still need to work hard and stick to my game."
Also making serious strides in Kitwe was Alex Haindl who shot a flawless eight-under-par 64 to climb to second on the leaderboard ahead of moving day. Four birdies in his first five holes gave Haindl some space to play with less pressure, then, he made four more on the homeward nine to take his total to 10-under for the week and leapfrog Ockie Strydom who occupies third spot.
"It was nice and solid today and I hit the ball a little bit better today," Haindl said after his round.
"I was just a bit scruffy with my iron shots yesterday; missed a few tee shots, I just missed a few that you shouldn’t be missing but today I drove it a little bit better and my iron shots were better."
132 - Riekus Nortje 65 67
134 - Alex Haindl 70 64
135 - Ockie Strydom 65 70
138 - Titch Moore 70 68, Oliver Bekker 64 74, Rourke van der Spuy 72 66
139 - Irvin Mazibuko 71 68, Jean Hugo 66 73, Chris Lloyd 69 70, Colin Nel 68 71, Adilson Da Silva 69 70, Combrinck Smit 69 70
141 - Doug McGuigan 72 69, Ulrich van den Berg 68 73, Danie Van Niekerk 73 68, Jbe' Kruger 70 71, Rhys West 70 71, JJ Senekal 72 69, Madalitso Muthiya 70 71, Teaghan Gauche 71 70