#6542

Hennie Otto shoots -11, 61 to spreadeagle the field at Sunshine Tour Vodacom Championship

Bookmark and Share

It took his best-ever round in tournament play to break open the Vodacom Championship field on Friday and see Hennie Otto to a course-record 11-under-par 61 and the halfway lead.


 “I played really well. I didn’t hit one bunker today, and that makes a difference on this course.”

What’s also made a difference is Otto’s new approach to his game, and life. Still dogged by injury, Otto does not practice and instead only hits balls to warm up before a tournament.

“I went to the physio before the round because something was messed up in my back again,” he said.

And then there’s the turnaround in his life, sparked by a rebirth of his Christian faith.

“It’s a road I’m walking at the moment. I have a gift, and I’ve realised that,” he said, as he evaluated an astonishing round.

He has carded 63 four times, and when he made an inauspicious start with a bogey on two, it didn’t seem likely that he would be erasing Richard Fulford’s 2005 Pretoria Country Club course record of 63.

But he birdied four, and then had a brilliant run of three birdies and an eagle to turn in five-under 31 to be one off the pace set by Jbe’ Kruger who had finished at 13-under through halfway.

His second nine started with no indication of the brilliance that lay ahead either as he made pars on 10 and 11.

But he birdied 12, made par on 13 and then, when he nearly holed out on 14, he began a run of five birdies on the way home. And he missed making eagle on 18 by a hair’s breadth, too as his 20-footer for eagle on 18 took a tiny bobble and just missed.

“If I’d made that putt on the last, it would’ve been a perfect round,” said Otto.

His round propelled him to a five stroke lead over Kruger and playing partner Thomas Aiken, as well as the best ever 36-hole score on the Sunshine Tour: His 126 halfway total is better than the 2007 mark of 127 set by Jean Hugo in the Samsung Royal Swazi Sun Open in 2008.

There was a pair of 65s during the second round, but they went unnoticed as Otto showed just how good he can be: Grant Veenstra and James Kamte each made substantial climbs up the leaderboard with their seven-under rounds – Veenstra to a share of 10th and Kamte to 15th.

But Veenstra finds himself a staggering nine shots behind Otto, and Kamte 11.

Even Aiken, who drew level with Kruger with a six-under 66 – the same as Kruger and six other players in the field – is almost aghast at finding himself so far off the lead despite rounds of seven-under and six-under.

Doug McGuigan finds himself in fourth on 12-under at halfway after his second consecutive 66, while Tjaart van der Walt, first-round leader Branden Grace and Anton Haig share fifth on 11-under.

And Otto is not discounting being chased down: “Even 10 shots is not enough on this course, and with so many players playing well. It will be fun on the weekend, though.”

Golf Scores (RSA unless specified):

126 - Hennie Otto 65 61

131 - Jbe' Kruger 65 66, Thomas Aiken 65 66

132 - Doug McGuigan 66 66

133 - Tjaart van der Walt 67 66, Branden Grace 64 69, Anton Haig 67 66

134 - Mark Murless 66 68, Dawie Van der Walt 68 66

135 - Adilson da Silva (BRA) 69 66, Grant Veenstra 70 65

136 - Michiel Bothma 66 70, Andre Bossert (SUI) 68 68, Ulrich van den Berg 69 67

137 - Ryan Tipping 67 70, Warren Abery 70 67, James Kamte 72 65

138 - Jake Roos 69 69, Alex Haindl 72 66, Ryan Thompson 67 71, Peter Karmis 70 68, Richard Sterne 70 68, Shaun Norris 71 67, George Coetzee 68 70

139 - Andrew Georgiou 69 70, Hendrik Buhrmann 71 68, Darren Blair 66 73, Stuart Clark (WAL) 67 72

140 - Andrew Curlewis 71 69, Tyrone Ferreira 70 70, Clinton Whitelaw 70 70, Dewald Smit 70 70, Louis Oosthuizen 74 66, Mohamed Tayob 69 71

141 - Matthew Carvell 72 69, Christiaan Basson 71 70, Louis de Jager 67 74, Keith Horne 72 69, Divan van den Heever 66 75, Brandon Pieters 71 70, Kevin Stone 72 69, Don Black 72 69, Darren Fichardt 71 70, Grant Muller 71 70, Jacques Blaauw 71 70, Josh Cunliffe 74 67, PG van Zyl 70 71, PH McIntyre 70 71

142 - Garry Hill 73 69, Heinrich Bruiners 72 70, Dion Fourie 71 71, Merrick Bremner 72 70, Justin Walters 72 70, Chris Swanepoel 71 71, Sean Farrell (ZIM) 69 73, Adrian Ford 72 70, Henk Alberts 73 69, Albert Pistorius 73 69, Des Terblanche 73 69, Willie van der Merwe 72 70, James Kingston 69 73, Lindani Ndwandwe 69 73

143 - Francois van Vuuren 75 68, Michael du Toit 71 72, Chris Williams 72 71, Wallie Coetsee 74 69, Andre Cruse 71 72, Charl Coetzee 70 73, Attie Schwartzel 71 72, Dean Burmester 72 71, Omar Sandys 73 70, Irvin Mazibuko 70 73, Deane Pappas 74 69, Theunis Spangenberg 71 72, Jaco Van Zyl 74 69, Louis Calitz 72 71

Missed the cut:-

144 - Ben Hatchwell (CAN) 74 70, Derick Petersen 74 70, Darryn Lloyd 75 69, Trevor Fisher Jnr 70 74, Neil Schietekat 72 72, Oliver Bekker 77 67, Marc Cayeux (ZIM) 71 73, Derik Ferreira 71 73, Bradford Vaughan 72 72, Dean Lambert 70 74, Louis Moolman 71 73, Thabang Simon 74 70, Christian Ries 73 71, Edrich Jansen 73 71

145 - Jeff Inglis (ENG) 72 73, Cameron Johnston 71 74, Prinavin Nelson 72 73, Steve van Vuuren 75 70, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 73 72, Morne Buys 72 73, Brett Liddle 75 70, Vaughn Groenewald 73 72, Jean Hugo 76 69, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 74 71, Tyrone Mordt 73 72, Callie Swart 68 77

146 - Rossouw Loubser 74 72, Ben Mannix (ENG) 74 72, Nic Henning 72 74, Jake Redman 73 73, Daniel Greene 75 71

147 - Bennie van der Merwe 74 73, Tyrone van Aswegen 73 74, Keenan Davidse 72 75, Warrick Druian 74 73, Alan McLean (SCO) 72 75, Roberto Lupini 74 73

148 - Anthony Michael 77 71, Mike Curtis (ZIM) 72 76, TC Charamba (ZIM) 76 72, Kenneth Dube 73 75, Ross Wellington 72 76, Steve Basson 78 70, Justin Harding 73 75

149 - Steven Ferreira 79 70, Alain Norris 74 75, Reggie Adams 78 71, Bobby Lincoln 77 72, Nicol van Wyk 74 75, Nico van Rensburg 75 74, Stuart Anderson (CAN) 80 69, Desvonde Botes 78 71, David Hewan 75 74

150 - Johan du Buisson 73 77, Trevor Mahoney 77 73, Alan Michell 80 70

151 - Michael Dreyer 73 78, Gerhard Trytsman 70 81, Patrick O'Brien 77 74, Walter Els 74 77, Toto Thimba (Jnr) 75 76, Jaco Ahlers 76 75, Alpheus Kelapile 75 76

152 - Juan Langeveld 77 75, Jack Kutumane 77 75, Divan du Piesanie 72 80, Darren Holder 78 74

153 - Rocky Tlhabanyane 79 74, Mark Williams 80 73

156 - Roy Mugglestone (ENG) 81 75, Tsietsi Chabangu 78 78, Wilhelm Groenewald 80 76

157 - Adriaan van Pletzen 76 81

159 - Keenan Paulsen 83 76

161 - Chris Corry (ENG) 82 79

164 - Taymen Erasmus 80 84

RTD - Teboho Sefatsa 79 RTD, Titch Moore 74 RTD, Dismas Indiza (KEN) 76 RTD, Ignatius Mketekete (ZIM) 74 RTD

Have your say