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Zander Lombard: In-form South African shines in DP World Tour off week on home soil

Zander Lombard: In-form South African shines in DP World Tour off week on home soil

Zander Lombard is in the form of his professional career, and it doesn’t look like coming to an end anytime soon.

Zander Lombard (2)
Zander Lombard headlines a strong South African challenge at the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the European Challenge Tour this week

Intent on ensuring his momentum isn’t halted by an off week on the DP World Tour, the South African has returned to his homeland to compete on the European Challenge Tour at the Dimension Data Pro-Am.

With five top-20s in his opening five events on the Race to Dubai this year, including a runner-up finish in Bahrain earlier this month, Lombard could easily have opted to take a well-earned break as the International Swing takes a pause.

But why stop when you’re riding a wave of momentum. At least, that seems to be his argument. That and the fact he can support a tournament on home soil, played across three venues at Fancourt Golf Estate, in George.

Evidence of the confidence he is feeling in his game is not in short supply after a six-under-par 66 at Outeniqua in the second round moved him to eight under at the halfway stage.

"My mindset is still to win," he said of opting to return home and play his sixth event in succession rather than take some time off.

"Whenever you tee it up you want to do the best, it is not just an event that I take lightly.

"I am super happy with my game. The confidence is up, the game is there. I have got no weaknesses so hopefully I can carry it into the weekend."

His form dates much further back than the start of the year, in fact. Since the D+D Real Czech Masters last August, the 29-year-old has not missed a cut.

What makes that feat all the more remarkable is that he has only missed one DP World Tour event since then - the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at the end of last year. No surprise then that he has broken into the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time as a result.

But there is no evidence of fatigue - whether that be physical or mental.

In challenging conditions, where winds picked up significantly in strength from the first round and with heavy downpours at times mixed in, Lombard made just one birdie on Friday to follow up an opening two under 70.

"It was really brutal out there today," he reflected. "The wind was absolutely blowing and showers were coming through but I hung in there well.

"I was just flushing the ball really well, hitting it to the right places to not make it difficult for myself. I am super happy with the way I managed the game and to put a score of 6 under I am always happy with that."

With the opportunity to land a long-overdue title - his first since winning on the Sunshine Tour in August 2018 - Lombard will be a hard act to deny over the weekend.

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