Ruan Korb is learning to stay patient and composed when things are not going his way in his third season on the Sunshine Tour, and he needed those qualities in the remorseless heat at the Gary Player Country Club on Thursday.
Korb kept his cool on a much tougher second day of the Blue Label Challenge, collecting six points in the modified Stableford scoring system and going to the top of the leaderboard on a total of 20.
The left-hander is one point ahead of first-round leader Ockie Strydom, who lost the lead thanks to a massive setback on the par-four 12th, where he lost three points. Strydom finished his round with four points to end the halfway stage of the tournament on 19 points overall.
“I didn’t look like getting to 20 points at the turn,” Korb said after his round that featured four birdies and two bogeys. “It was hot and the wind was pretty tough, swirling the whole time – it never seemed to come from the same place for longer than 10 minutes.
“I just had to keep concentrating for the whole 18 holes and, after getting going with birdies on five and six, I knew the most difficult tee-shots were coming around the turn. Unfortunately I made bogey at nine, but kept my cool and had a nice sand-save for birdie on 11.
“I feel solid about my game, I have beautiful new irons – Titleist T100s – and that has given me more confidence. I like the format too because I am an aggressive player,” Korb added.
While many of the golfers were forced to kneel before the stringent test that is the Gary Player Country Club with the wind up, it was a good day for Keagan Thomas, who picked up nine points to go to third on 17 points.
The experienced Lyle Rowe produced the second-best round of the day with his 10-point tally, including four birdies and an eagle on the 11th, lifting him to 16 points and a tie for fourth with Jaco Ahlers and Rhys Enoch.