Eagle-machine Van Tonder takes halfway lead at Karen

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Day Two Report

Daniel van Tonder eagled each of the three par fives at Karen Country Club as the South African moved into a one-stroke lead at the halfway point of the Kenya Savannah Classic supported by Absa.

The 30-year-old, who won four of his seven Sunshine Tour titles in the 2020 season, had ten threes on his card on day two in Nairobi – three of them birdies and three of them eagles – as a seven under par 64 added to his opening 65 for a 13 under pat total.

That moved him to the front of the packed leaderboard at Karen Country Club, a short, classic golf course which has proven equally challenging for players of every playing style over both of the back-to-back events held there.

Justin Harding, the winner of last week’s Magical Kenya Open presented by Johnnie Walker, continued his remarkable form at Karen as he carded a 66 to move to drop back to a share of second place having shared the first round lead.

He was joined on 12 under par by Scot David Drysdale, who signed for second successive 65 as he hunts a maiden European Tour title.

South Korean Kyongjun Moon had the highlight of the day as he made a hole-in-one albatross on the par four seventh hole, holing out from 346 yards with his driver.

Player Quotes

Daniel van Tonder: “It started from the tee shots. I hit three very good tee shots. On the sixth I hit driver and had 177 metres to the pin and hit nine iron, I got short of that last slope and made the putt. Second one was driver, eight iron, pin-high left and made a good putt again. Then the next was driver-wedge and I hit the putt well and made it.

“It’s a bit different this week. Last week I was here as well and missed the cut by one. I was struggling with my swing a bit – trying to play aggressive but it didn’t really work the first day. On the second I got it back. But this week I’ve found something again. I got some confidence out there so I am able to hit the driver on most tee boxes and be aggressive going into the pins.

“A partnership like this (with Abigail) is awesome, especially being my wife as well. Being on the bag seven or eight years now, time flies. We’re having fun and enjoying it. She knows me, so I trust her with her decisions. I trusted her with the irons every time and made eagle – so I should just do it more. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll take it hole by hole, give myself chances and we’ll be hard to beat.”

Justin Harding: “I think the golf course just suits me well. I enjoy it out there, I drove it really well today, I put it in play and to be fair I probably just didn’t hit it close enough to the hole. I made a couple of good long putts but missed a couple of short ones which was a bit annoying.

“Ultimately it’s two good days’ work done and I’ve given myself on the final two days. I think I’ve got to just handle my emotions correctly. Today I was a little grumpier than I’ve been for the last five days but ultimately it’s a beautiful golf course to play and, as I’ve said many times, there are a bunch of birdies out there. If you execute your plan, any one of us can go out there and score so I’m trying to fend off the rest of the guys and see what happens.”

David Drysdale: “I guess it was a little bit surprising after last week. Actually I had to change driver head last week to loft up and launch it a little higher in the altitude here and I just hit too many left. I missed a lot of fairways and stymied myself behind a few trees so went back to my old head, nine and a half and I’ve driven it fantastically so far.

“The head I’m using this week is the head I’ve used for the last few events before last week. When you come to this sort of altitude I just feel you need a little bit more launch to keep the ball in the air but obviously it didn’t work out well.

“I have just played a lot in Africa in the last number of years and I’ve had good results here. In Joburg, Leopard Creek – places like that that are high up. The ball sits up nicely on the fairways and I kind of thick it a little bit I guess so it sits up nicely for me for iron shots.

“Other than that I just enjoy the weather, and it’s nice to be away from Scotland at this time of the year. You just go out and play but it’s hard not to think about it (not winning) – it’s a record I don’t want to have. That’s what I’m striving for, to win a tournament or win a few but obviously to get the first one. We’ll see what happens. It’s on my mind, not constantly, but it’s something that’s there.”

Round Two Scores

129 D VAN TONDER (RSA) 65 64,
130 D DRYSDALE (SCO) 65 65, J HARDING (RSA) 64 66,
131 D FICHARDT (RSA) 65 66, M KAWAMURA (JPN) 67 64, N LEMKE (SWE) 66 65,
132 D VAN DRIEL (NED) 70 62, R LANGASQUE (FRA) 67 65, G FDEZ-CASTA?O (ESP) 66 66, J LUITEN (NED) 64 68, M ARMITAGE (ENG) 65 67,
133 J CALDWELL (NIR) 65 68, V DUBUISSON (FRA) 67 66,
134 H LONG (GER) 69 65, S VINCENT (ZIM) 67 67, D WAKHU (KEN) 66 68, J GUERRIER (FRA) 70 64, J JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 66 68, J KRUYSWIJK (RSA) 70 64, S HORSFIELD (ENG) 66 68, K REITAN (NOR) 69 65, L SLATTERY (ENG) 66 68, C SORDET (FRA) 64 70, R ENOCH (WAL) 67 67,
135 A CA?IZARES (ESP) 64 71, S SODERBERG (SWE) 68 67, A CHESTERS (ENG) 67 68, R SCIOT-SIEGRIST (FRA) 66 69, L JOHNSTON (SCO) 66 69, M KEYSER (RSA) 65 70, J MORRISON (ENG) 70 65, C HILL (SCO) 67 68, S BROWN (ENG) 68 67,
136 W BESSELING (NED) 67 69, J SENIOR (ENG) 67 69, S HEND (AUS) 66 70, L DE JAGER (RSA) 71 65, M SCHWAB (AUT) 66 70, J SURI (USA) 66 70, L VAN MEIJEL (NED) 68 68, J FAHRBRING (SWE) 67 69, B EVANS (ENG) 68 68, J SCHAPER (RSA) 69 67, E CUARTERO BLANCO (ESP) 66 70, M ANTCLIFF (AUS) 67 69, R SANTOS (POR) 68 68, R MCGOWAN (ENG) 65 71, L SCALISE (ITA) 70 66,
137 R RAMSAY (SCO) 71 66, C SHARVIN (NIR) 65 72, M KIEFFER (GER) 68 69, D HOWELL (ENG) 70 67, D WHITNELL (ENG) 70 67, L BJERREGAARD (DEN) 69 68, A COCKERILL (CAN) 69 68, G PORTEOUS (ENG) 69 68, S GARCIA RODRIGUEZ (ESP) 70 67, N BERTASIO (ITA) 67 70, G BHULLAR (IND) 70 67, M PAVON (FRA) 66 71,
138 D YOUNG (SCO) 73 65, J LIMA (POR) 68 70, S KJELDSEN (DEN) 74 64, T TREE (ENG) 67 71, A RAI (ENG) 70 68, A OTAEGUI (ESP) 68 70, M SIMONSEN (DEN) 70 68, D HUIZING (NED) 68 70, D COUPLAND (ENG) 70 68, O LIESER (CZE) 72 66, S SHARMA (IND) 69 69, N VON DELLINGSHAUSEN (GER) 70 68, S KIM (USA) 68 70,

CUT

139 D BURMESTER (RSA) 69 70, A MERONK (POL) 71 68, F LAPORTA (ITA) 70 69, R WATTEL (FRA) 71 68, C PIGEM (ESP) 67 72, A LEVY (FRA) 69 70, J CATLIN (USA) 69 70, C HOWIE (SCO) 68 71,
140 J RITCHIE (RSA) 70 70, T LEE (KOR) 68 72, O FARR (WAL) 71 69, L GAGLI (ITA) 69 71, B RITTHAMMER (GER) 72 68, R ROUSSEL (FRA) 70 70, B POKE (DEN) 70 70, M SOUTHGATE (ENG) 73 67, C PAISLEY (ENG) 71 69, D LAW (SCO) 71 69, J VEERMAN (USA) 70 70, E FERGUSON (SCO) 70 70,
141 J CAMPILLO (ESP) 68 73, R MANSELL (ENG) 70 71, T LAWRENCE (RSA) 73 68, W NIENABER (RSA) 72 69, S CHAWRASIA (IND) 75 66,
142 G SNOW (KEN) 71 71, M SCHNEIDER (GER) 67 75, A BALALA (AM) (KEN) 73 69, S CHEGE (KEN) 71 71, K KITAYAMA (USA) 69 73, G FORREST (SCO) 72 70, C SYME (SCO) 71 71, G COETZEE (RSA) 70 72, P ANGLES (ESP) 71 71, E JOHANSEN (NOR) 73 69, R MCEVOY (ENG) 71 71,
143 M FORD (ENG) 74 69, G HIGGO (RSA) 72 71, J SMITH (ENG) 71 72, E MOLINARI (ITA) 74 69, S MBURU (KEN) 77 66, T PULKKANEN (FIN) 73 70,
145 R CHINHOI (ZIM) 75 70, J ASENA (KEN) 72 73, R KARLBERG (SWE) 75 70, H PORTEOUS (RSA) 76 69, D INDIZA ANYONYI (KEN) 72 73, G GREEN (MAS) 74 71, O WILSON (ENG) 71 74, A QUIROS (ESP) 71 74, J LAGERGREN (SWE) 70 75,
146 N H?JGAARD (DEN) 76 70, R BLAND (ENG) 74 72, M MEDIRATTA (KEN) 72 74, D PERRIER (FRA) 73 73, A ODOH (NGR) 74 72, K MOON (KOR) 72 74, A KARLSSON (SWE) 73 73,
147 T KOIVISTO (USA) 72 75, O OBURA (KEN) 76 71, Z LOMBARD (RSA) 75 72, G MIGLIOZZI (ITA) 73 74, M SCHMITT (GER) 77 70,
148 G MOYNIHAN (IRL) 72 76,
149 J STALTER (FRA) 72 77, C WANGAI (KEN) 73 76, I MAKOKHA (AM) (KEN) 73 76, P FIGUEIREDO (POR) 76 73,
150 A SADDIER (FRA) 72 78, M BALDWIN (ENG) 80 70,
151 R CHARANIA (KEN) 71 80, J SANDHU (AM) (KEN) 72 79,
152 E ASUZA (KEN) 76 76,
153 Y CHANG (KOR) 74 79, O FISHER (ENG) 75 78, P KASOZI (UGA) 76 77,
155 M KARANGA (AM) (KEN) 75 80, M OMONDI (KEN) 78 77,
156 D AKOPE (UGA) 82 74,
157 N KIBUGU (AM) (KEN) 78 79,
158 T MALIK (AM) (KEN) 82 76,
**
OUT J DONALDSON (WAL) 72 WD,

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