John Hahn has the half-way lead in the Africa Open, shooting a course record-equaling -10 under par 61 at East London Golf Club.
John Hahn / Getty
John required just 28 shots on his inward nine at East London Golf Course to complete his flawless -10 under par, carding eight birdies and an Eagle, on the par five third hole. With an Official World Golf Ranking of 881st, the 24-year-old American Qualifying School graduate now has a total of -16 under par, and a two shot lead heading into the third round. As I always say, confidence with the putter is essential for low scoring;
“I just got the putter hot early and it stayed hot all day. It turned into a good one. I hit a lot of fairways and greens and the greens I missed early in the round I got up and down. I made a couple of putts you don’t normally make and had a couple of unexpected ones go in.”
John said he had been inspired by the success of compatriots Peter Uihlein and Brooks Koepka, with Peter winning the Madeira Islands Open last year and Brooks earning promotion to The European Tour with three victories on the Challenge Tour.
“With Peter and Brooks coming over and watching the success those guys had, I knew playing mini tours in the US wasn’t going to get me anywhere so this was a good place to try to accumulate World Ranking points and move forward. It was a last-minute idea and it has turned into a really good opportunity for me. Seeing different countries and cultures is something I have never had. I am almost getting more enjoyment from that than the golf. Learning how to travel, eat different foods, it’s kind of a growing up experience and I am having a blast every step of the way.”
Another bogey free effort from Ricardo Santos saw him continue his good form, scoring a second round of -5 under par 66, to go with his opening 62, giving him a -14 under par total. A 95-minute delay caused by torrential morning rain, helped him save par from the rough;
“I was very pleased to score so well today, I really couldn’t ask for much more. I got quite lucky with the weather delay, because I was in some thick rough when we were called off, but the break let me breathe some clean air and when I came back out I saved par. There is still a lot of golf to come, but I’m very happy with my position at the moment.”
Oliver Fisher is in third place, a shot behind Ricardo on -13 under par, making birdies at his final four holes to shoot an error-free -8 under par 63.
Oliver liked his good day, the delay also helped him;
“It was a good day, I played well, hit the ball nicely and kept it in play. There were lots of chances, which you can tell by the scoring. It was a matter of being patient and sticking with your round. I got off to a good start and then got called in on the fourth fairway. I made two birdies straight after that, so the delay helped me a little bit. I went dry for a while mid-round and then finished with four birdies, so it was a good day.”