South African Golfer Zander Lombard Shining at Irish Open

Pretoria golfer Zander Lombard has a chance of becoming the first South African to win the Irish Open in over 80 years! Whilst currently in fourth position, on Friday he carded a solid three-under-par 67… which temporarily put him in the lead halfway through the tournament.

South Africa’s Zander Lombard in action during the second round. Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Yesterday (Saturday) he fell back, at one point trailing in tied sixteenth position with, amongst others, South Africa’s Brandon Stone. George Coetzee was ahead of his compatriots in tied eleventh.

But today – Sunday 7 July – Lombard is back in the top five, and starts the final day in fourth position, with the number one spot well within his sights. (Stone and Coetzee are in tied 14th position.)

24-year-old Lombard, who’s been struggling lately, said after his awesome performance on Friday: “I had to change a few things in my physique and how I swing the club so it’s nice to see the hard work coming off and what a better place to see it happen.

“I missed a few cuts coming into this week and it’s been three months of hard work… it’s been really good golf, solid, and I’m just really enjoying being at the top.”

If Lombard (hopefully) claims back the number one position today, he will be the first South African winner of the Irish Open since Bobby Locke won it in 1938!

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar/Reuters and Jenni Baxter/SAPeople)