Confidence key as de Smidt surges ahead

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 22: Ruan de Smidt during day 2 of the 2016 Sun Carnival City Challenge at Ebotse Links Golf Estate on September 22, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. EDITOR'S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Luke Walker/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)
  • Post published:September 23, 2016

Despite a double-bogey on the par-four fourth hole at Ebotse Golf and Country Estate, Ruan de Smidt carded a four-under-par 68 to take a four-stroke lead into the final day of the Sun Carnival City Challenge.

‘I hit it nicely again today. I made one bad swing and made a double there. I three-putted on seven for par, but other than that it was really good out there.’ De Smidt said after his round. ‘I hit it left out of bounds, hit it close and missed a short one for bogey,’ he added.

His commanding four-stroke lead proves his ball striking has been second to none of late, however De Smidt is under no illusion that he still needs to focus to claim a first win since November last year.

‘Obviously I want to win again. The last four or five weeks I’ve put myself into contention. My bad round seems to be a little bit better than what is has been so hopefully I can get another win tomorrow,’ said De Smidt who has racked up five top-10 finishes in his last nine starts on tour.

Neil Schietekat matched De Smidt’s 68 around the links layout, and he is one of three players on six-under hoping to rein in the man from Krugersdorp.

‘Any lead is nice to have but on this course anything can happen. Sometimes you do get ahead of yourself. I’ll try and stay in the zone tomorrow and try and hit the ball like I have been hitting it. I think I’ve missed three or four greens in the last two days,’ explained De Smidt.

Tee to green De Smidt is one of the best on tour, however it’s the putter that has lead to more confidence in his game.

‘I think its just confidence. I’m playing a lot more freely and making a couple of putts. I usually don’t make a lot of 15 to 20 footers and the last five weeks I’ve made a lot of them. I think that’s what has been really good,’ he said.

Chris Swanepoel and Christiaan Basson are the men alongside Schietekat, while Jason Froneman, Doug McGuigan, Arthur Horne and Jacques Blaauw share fifth place on five-under-par.