Riekus Nortje into second place at Copperleaf

After a shaky start at the Els Club Copperleaf, Teboho Sefatsa opened up the sails over the back nine and coasted to a one-stroke lead during round two of the Big Easy tour Championship.

“I made four threes in a row on the back nine, which was good. I knew something was going to happen, and it did on the stretch – I managed to beat the wind, so I’m very happy,” he said.

Sefatsa has finished outside the money only once on the Big Easy Tour this year. He continued to dominate on Thursday, shooting 69 and opening-up a one-stroke lead over three-time winner Riekus Nortje.

“Consistency is my kind of thing,” said Sefatsa. “I guess that’s the way my game has developed over the year, hence the scores showing now. We’ll let time tell and fate dictate for the rest of this tournament.”

Despite good ball striking, Sefatsa battled with blustery conditions over the front nine and dropped at the fourth and fifth. A well-timed pair of birdies at the seventh and eighth was enough to keep the 29-year-old composed in spite of a further drop at the ninth.

“I got off to a good start with a birdie on one. Then I made two quick drops at four and five, but I picked a few shots back and turned at level-par. It just kept me in there – I felt that I was still in it and that if I stayed patient something would happen,” he said.

The Glendower Golf Club professional rode the wind over the back stretch. He birdied the 13th before soaring into the lead with an eagle at the par-five 15th.

“I took driver, three-wood to about six foot and made a nice putt. I went straight to five (under) from there and birdied the next. Unfortunately I three-putted 18 to finish five-under, but it’s been a good two rounds,” he said.

Riekus Nortje also carded 69 for the day. Birdies at 16 and 17 pushed him up the leaderboard just in the nick and he signed in at four-under. The rookie is second in earnings on the tour, and even though he wants to win, sole second will secure him the Order of Merit title.

Tyrone Ryan shot a respectable 71 to finish a further stroke adrift. The lead has been five-under for the last two rounds, which means that he is in with a good shout tomorrow. Mark Williams also carded 71, which put him into sole fourth, while Ross Wellington and overnight leader Francois Coetzee finished in a share of fifth at one-under.

SCORES (RSA unless otherwise specified):

139 – Teboho Sefatsa 70 69

140 – Riekus Nortje 71 69

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