Zim Open: Vincent, Williams stand firm

HARARE - Scott Vincent shot five birdies on the second day of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open here yesterday to move into contention for the R1,8 million Sunshine Tour-sanctioned event.

The Zimbabwean, who turned pro last year, shot an impressive four-under-par 68 to take his total after 36 holes to five-under 139.

Another Zimbabwean, Mark Williams, also finished the day on five-under-par 139 after an impressive three-under 69 yesterday. 

The Zimbabwean duo is just four shots off the leader South African Louis De Jager, who is on nine-under-par 135 after his 70 yesterday.

Another South African, Vaughn Groenewald, is on seven-under-par 137 after also shooting a 70 yesterday.

Lyle Rowe also from South Africa is a further shot back on six-under-par 138. The opening day’s joint leader Mark Murless dropped to six-under-par after carding a round of one-over-par 73.

Vincent was naturally elated with his second round that saw him drop one shot at the par-five number 16 before recovering to pick up four birdies when heading in.

“I’m very happy. I had a slow start but got it going on the back nine so I’m excited for what I finished at. I’m looking forward to the weekend now,” Scott said.

“Well, we will see how it goes tomorrow (today). If I continue with the way I played this back nine I don’t see why I can’t be in contention.

“There is still a lot of golf to be played and there are still a lot of players out there; who knows what they will post?

“But I’m just worried for me for now and just try to play the best I can.”

The third round promises to be a moving day for all the golfers on the leaderboard and Vincent hopes he can maintain his composure today to give himself a chance going into the last 18 holes.   

“Just stick to what I have been doing and try to hit as many fairways as I can; then giving myself good looks at birdies,” the former Virginia Tech student said.

“That’s kinda (sic) all what you can do. It’s simple but it’s hard to do. So it’s just fairways and greens and see what comes out of the end of the day.”

Defending champion Dean Burmester of South Africa together with his compatriots Kevin Rundle, Bryce Easton, Jacques Kruyswijk and Teaghan Gauche are also on five-under-par.

De Jager was also pleased with his second round on a day when a number of players found it hard to cope with the speed of the greens.

“The greens firmed up and speeded up much more than I expected. You had to just change a bit of your course management, play a bit more conservatively, but at the end of the day I’m happy with where I finished off today,” De Jager told the Sunshine Tour website.

Groenewald said: “When you’re hitting it in the wrong places then it gets tricky because the greens are hard and fast. There were some tricky flags out there. You can’t just attack.”

Rowe also spoke on the difference of the greens as compared to the opening round.

“It’s a huge difference compared to yesterday (Thursday). I mean the greens are — just the firmness of them, it made a huge difference.

“Yesterday (Thursday), you had to allow for a bit of release whereas this morning you could fly it and stop it,” he told the Sunshine Tour website.

The only other Zimbabweans to have made the cut and will play throughout the weekend are David Amm, Greg Bentley, Mohammad Mandhu, Ryan Cairns, Marc Cayeux and Kieran Vincent.

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