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11th May 2022 | Big Easy Tour

Maas maintains Blue Valley lead despite “terrible round”

Amateur Christiaan Maas was unhappy with his round despite maintaining his lead after round two of the Altron Big Easy Tour tournament where he signed for three-under 69 to total 10-under to lead by three at Blue Valley Golf Estate on Wednesday.

“Terrible!,” Maas said to sum up an eventful second round. “It was really bad; I didn’t hit anything close. My iron play was off today. I was pulling a lot of shots to the left; I was scared that if I don’t pull them then I would overcompensate and then push them a bit and that’s where most of the trouble was.

“And then I hit it left, which left me with a couple of difficult chip-ins and putts. But I’ll go and work on this now and hopefully, tomorrow, it will all be a little better. I am happy with where I am right now and I have been in a couple of situations similar to this (where he is leading ahead of the final round). Tomorrow will be good fun and I’m looking forward to it.”

He teed off from the 10th and made back-to-back pars before an early bogey crept onto his scorecard. He shrugged that bogey off and made a birdie on the par-five 13th, his fourth hole of the day. That joy, too, was short-lived because, after the par on 14, another drop followed. Once again, Maas was able to bounce back with a birdie on 16 and then another on 18, his ninth.

That last birdie settled him for a bit as he cruised around collecting pars on his 10th and 11th holes when birdies were hard to come by. He made gains on 12, birdieing the par-five third hole of the course before dropping again. The par-five fifth hole presented the GolfRSA Elite Squad member with another opportunity to salvage what he described as a terrible round.

An eagle there brought back the spring in his step and the birdie he made one hole later also brought much joy for one of the country’s leading amateurs. Once again, however, Maas dropped a shot but by now he’d done enough to seal a round of 69.

Second on the leaderboard is the left-handed Ricky Hendler who has been enjoying good form since the start of the year. He also shot a 69 to get to seven-under for the week and trail by just three shots ahead of the final round.

The best score on moving day was Luan Boshoff’s unblemished 67 which catapulted him to a share of third with James Mack at five-under for the tournament while Nicholaus Frade and Cameron Moralee tie fifth on three-under-par.

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.