4th October 2022 | Big Easy Tour
Fast start places De Kock in three-way share of lead in Centurion
Allister De Kock says he needs to harness his ‘killer instinct’ after his opening six-under 66 catapulted him to a share of the top spot in the Altron Big Easy Tour Play-Off tournament at Centurion Country Club on Tuesday.
Along with fellow member of the Papwa Sewgolum Transformation Class, Musiwalo Nethunzwi and Andrew Williamson, De Kock will sleep on a slender one-stroke lead over local man, Nicholaus Frade, who carded a 67 on his home track on day one of this penultimate event of this season.
And while De Kock was delighted with his start, the Uitenhage Golf Club player was also critical of himself.
“Today I tried not to get in my own way,” stated De Kock, “and I played with no fear. I have been playing good golf these last few tournaments but I seem to put on the breaks when I get to the back nine. I’m just tired of not playing to win. I think that has been my biggest flaw; the lack of that killer instinct – I need to go get it somewhere. But I need to start picking up trophies because I do get myself in those positions.”
De Kock has been solid this season on the Altron Big Easy Tour and has missed the cut only twice in seven starts. In Centurion, the 39-year-old was in prime form; making seven birdies and a solitary bogey en route to his 66.
“I am happy with my start today,” added De Kock. “The key for me today was to commit to the shots. This is not my favourite course to play but I know that with commitment, one can always go low here. It doesn’t matter where you are playing but if you go fairways and greens, you are bound to score well. I didn’t putt great today but I made the important putts I needed to make.”
Williamson returned to action after a few months on the sidelines and was spectacular in his execution. His round was characterised by five birdies, an eagle and a lonesome drop, much to the player’s surprise.
“I didn’t have any expectations coming into this tournament,” said Williamson after his round. “I’d taken a break and I wasn’t sure if I was in this tournament, I knew I was a reserve. So, even to be in this field is special for me.
“As for my round, I think I putted well today. It was not those very long putts but it was important to make putts where I could. I had a couple of saves today where things could have gone the other way but I thought I played solidly all around.”
Nethunzwi was flawless in Centurion; weaving together a bogey-free 66 as he charged for a share of the lead.
Local man and recent winner, Nicholaus Frade is within touching distance of the lead. Playing in familiar territory, Frade fired in a 67 to place himself within a shot of the leaders. He will relish his chances of impressing on his home turf and a second-round charge from him can never be ruled out. He is fourth on the leaderboard.
The Play-Off Tournament at Centurion is the penultimate event of this 10-tournament season and only the top 50 players on the Order of Merit are eligible. The tournament carries prize money of R300 000.
The Big Easy Tour was founded in 2011 with support from Ernie Els and counts current international star Christiaan Bezuidenhout among its former Order of Merit winners.