Home » Sports » Jean Hugo in Control

JEAN Hugo, winner in 1999, yesterday sunk five birdies and an eagle to open a three-stroke cushion in the 2014 Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open at Royal Harare as 72 players made the cut going into the make-or-break weekend. Hugo, who was in second place at the start of the day after carding a 66 on the opening day, surged to the top of the leader-board with a brilliant five-under-par 67 during the second round yesterday to take his aggregate to an 11-under-par 133.

The weather was windy yesterday as the South African golfer pulled off birdies on the seventh, eighth, 12th, 16th and 17th holes.

Hugo also made an eagle on the par-five third hole while he bogeyed the fourth and 15th holes.

In his first nine holes, Hugo finished on 33 while he hit 34 on the back nine to take a three-stroke lead over compatriot Hayden Porteous.

Hugo said his success lay in reading the greens well.

Today, he will play the same ball with Porteous, in the last tee at 12.16pm.

“So it’s all about reading the greens, which are quite quick. I have been working a bit and it feels better that I can attack the course more if my long game is good.

“In the past season or two, I have played too conservatively so I don’t really give myself chances. It’s just a mindset, but because of the work, my confidence is showing,” he told Sunshine Tour.com.

Hayden finished the first round on position 16th but worked his way up by notching seven birdies while dropping a shot on the 14th hole to finish on 66 yesterday.

He had settled for a three under-par 69 in the first round.

Another South African, Steven Ferreir,a who was tied with Porteous after the first round, is one shot behind on eight under-136, after scoring 67 yesterday.

Ferreira, who made five birdies and never dropped a shot, spent the greater part of the day as the leader before Hugo moved top at the close of play.

Ferreira shares the spot with Warren Abery, Le Roux Ferreira, 2010 winner Jee Kruger and Daniel Green who are also on eight under-136.

Le Roux burst into the lead after the opening round and was impressed by his performance yesterday.

“Today, I actually played better than I played yesterday. I just made less putts but all in all I am very happy to be in the position I am in right now,” said Le Roux.

Today, Le Roux will play with Kruger and he hopes to make the best out of the remaining two rounds.

“Today, it was windy and tricky but yesterday (Thursday) it was raining. There are still two rounds to play.

“I will not think about anyone else but just play my own game and see where I get on Sunday,” said Le Roux.

Zimbabwe Professional Golfers Association president Tongo Charamba remained the leading local after a one-under-par 71 to go into the third round in 12th place tied with Stuart Smith, Modalitso Muthiya, Colin Nel, Theunis Spanngberg, Ulrich van den Berg and PH McIntyre.

Charamba, Smith (Botswana) and Muthiya (Zambia) were the only non-South Africans in the top 30 yesterday.

Defending champion Jake Roos still remains in with a shout after a two-under par 70.

Ignatius Mketekete and Ryan Cairns were the other Zimbabweans to make the cut.

As the golfers play the third round today, there is excitement added by a Jaguar XF vehicle up for grabs to anyone who hit the first eagle on the par-four hole 18.

Not an easy task by any imagination.

But this has been a competitive Zimbabwe Open so far and golf fans, depending on the weather conditions, can brace for a good weekend.

Source : The Herald