Da Silva maintains lead, Groenewald lurks at Wild Coast

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Adilson da Silva tightened his grip on the lead of the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge – albeit by a single shot – as he signed for a 64 in the second round of the R800,000 event to get to 13-under at Wild Coast Sun County Club on Friday.

Birdies on the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 13th and the 16th plus a bogey on the par-five fifth made up his round-two scorecard.

“My driving has been pretty much straight,” he said after the round, “and, I got lots of chances on my approach shots. I think the key for me was just to make the putts that I have been missing in the last couple of months. I feel confident. It is nice to see the putts going in. It builds a lot of confidence.”

Da Silva is not planning to change his strategy in the final round. “I will just keep the focus on what I am doing, just take it shot by shot and hang in there,” he said.

Lurking dangerously behind Da Silva, and with the best score of the round by far, is Vaughn Groenewald whose nine-under-par 61 catapulted him to second on the leaderboard on 12-under for the tournament. Daniel van Tonder, Hennie du Plessis and Alex Haindl share the third spot on 10-under, three shots behind Da Silva.

A change of the putter on the back of three straight missed cuts, was the difference, said Groenewald. “It has been a tough three weeks before this. We were off for quite a long while. I am a great putter and all of the sudden I just started putting badly. I had 33 or 34 putts the whole time.  I missed three cuts in a row.

“I putted well for five years and this week I decided I would try a new putter. I got the putter from Jacques (Blaauw). Yesterday I putted nicely, 30 putts. It was much better and today 25 putts. It is just getting better,” he said.

Groenewald won this event in 2015 and should he replicate his second-round performance in the weekend, he could be in with a shot. Zimbabwe’s Benjamin Follett-Smith and Duane Keun share sixth on nine-under while the returning Darren Fichardt, Wynand Dingle, Jake Roos and Titch Moore occupy eighth.

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