Wessels chasing victory in PGA National Champs
GEORGE (13 May 2015) - Roger Wessels said it was a bit like calling up the past, and as the joint leader going into Wednesday's final round of the PGA National Championship presented by Diners Club at Oubaai he's hoping to draw on the experiences of his years on the European and Sunshine Tours.
The 54-year-old Wessels signed for a round of 69 to share the lead with Blanche Lampecht on four under par, three strokes clear of Kenneth Dube and Michael Michell. Lamprecht kept his challenge on track with a second successive round of 70.
But with one round left, Wessels is relishing every moment of being back in the hunt for a tournament so many years after retiring from life as a touring professional in 2003.
"It's a good position to be in. Over the last few holes I was starting to get a bit nervous, and it called back the past to be honest. I could feel the hands shaking a bit. But I'm looking forward to the final round. I guess we'll see if I've still got the nerves for it," said the winner of nine tournaments on the Sunshine Tour, the last of which came in the 2001 Platinum Classic.
The highlights of Wessels' round were the two eagles he made on the par-five seventh and ninth holes.
"I hit two good tee shots, and then on seven I hit a three wood to 30 feet and rolled in the putt, and on nine I hit a great rescue to eight feet and holed the putt. That made a big difference to my round."
Wessels admits a victory in the premier event for the country's PGA professionals would be something special at this point in his career.
"You know, this would rank very highly for me. I came into this tournament with no expectations. It was really just to participate in our PGA championship and support the event. It's great to be competitive, but I'm certainly not going back on tour or anything based on this. I've just enjoyed participating and seeing old faces again. Friends like Richard Kaplan, Ben Fouche, Mark Wiltshire, Wayne Bradley - it really calls back the past. The fact that I'm playing nicely is really a bonus."
Another solid round for Lamprecht in which he dropped only one shot means he's equally well placed for the title. But he's also well aware of the experience he is up against in the final round.
"I know Roger and I know he can play, so I'm quite nervous. But hopefully I can get the putter working, and then I'll give him a go."