After the first day that was dominated by youngsters, it was the veterans of the Sunshine Tour that showed their muscles on the second day of the resumed golf action. The 37-year old Alex Haindl took the lead at the Betway-championship after 36 holes at the Killarney-club, thanks to excellent short game.
Haindl, a three-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, went to bed as the leader of the first Southern African championship in six months with four birdies in a round of 67 (3-under). The South African-born Haindl was just in front of Anton Haig (2-under after a 69).
Two men, both in their 40’s, Ulrich van den Berg and Adilson da Silva, are in third place. Haindl started his second round on Thursday at Killarney’s 10th hole. He completed his first nine in 35 (par). At the first hole (his 10th), he started moving things along with a birdie of about two meters and another two birdies over the next four holes, which moved him into the winning crowd.
“Good short game is the key on this course. The course is fast and firm, so it is difficult to get close to the flags. It’s a challenge,” he explained. “I worked hard during lockdown, but you never know what to expect until you can challenge yourself in competition.
You can do only so much when you are hitting balls into a net in your garage. It’s nice to see my aim is okay. Now I just have to tidy things up”. Haig is currently in second place thanks to five birdies in a round of 69.
It has been 13 years since his biggest moment yet, when he won the European series’ Johnnie Walker Classic in 2007 when he was 23. He hasn’t given up on his golfing dreams yet, though.
His secret in this tournament was quite a few practise rounds at the Killarney club.
“I recently joined a group of golfers that play for money at Killarney.
I played around 10 practice rounds. It helped quite a lot that I was here so often in the past few weeks,” he said. It will be interesting to see if these two old-timers, Alex Haindl and Anton Haig can stay on their winning streak.