Jonathan Agren has a pretty straightforward goal for the final round of the R750,000 Sun Fish River Challenge. Make a lot of birdies. Source : Sunshine Tour
The Swede who has eight top-10s on the Sunshine Tour starts today’s final round at the Fish River Sun Country Club on nine-under-par, one shot off the lead held by Wallie Coetsee. And his daily birdie tally so far is five in round one and seven in the second round.
“The final round – make 10 birdies. That’s my goal for the round,” said Agren. “I tried to do it in the second but I couldn’t, and I tried in the first round. So 10 birdies. If I can do it, I’ll have a pretty good chance of winning, and if I can’t, I’m going to learn a lot about myself.”
Agren is playing on the Sunshine Tour for a second season after finishing 54th in the 2016-17 Order of Merit, and, in his seven tournaments so far, he’s up in 34th position. That’s after he took a three-month break back home during the Swedish summer from May to the end of July.
On his return, he finished in 11th in the Sun Carnival City Challenge, but then missed two consecutive cuts in the wind at coastal tournaments at Arabella and the Wild Coast. He stopped that rot with a third-place finish at last week’s tournament at Zimbali in KwaZulu Natal.
The wind started coming up during yesterday’s second round at Fish River, and he was equal to the task, as his seven birdies showed. He was a little rueful about his two bogeys, however. “I think I got a little unlucky with the draw,” he said, “but I’ve been unlucky for three weeks now. There’s nothing I can do about it except go out and play.”
He’s also been battling a thumb injury, and can hardly wait to get another cortisone shot to help with the discomfort. But he’s unwilling to use that as a reason for not breaking through for a maiden Sunshine Tour victory. “I would love to say the thumb isn’t affecting my game, but it is,” he said. “I’m just doing my best to play every round and finish it. It’s not good, but I hope it’s not going to affect me in the final round.”
He’s mentally ready for 10 birdies. It’s going to be an interesting chase.