Grace opens five-shot lead

2012-10-06 07:57

St Andrews - Branden Grace drew on playing an Old Course practice round with former British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen to extend his lead to five shots in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Friday.

The 24-year-old South African, also with Oosthuizen's 2010 Open-winning caddy, Zach Rasego, now on his bag, carded a second round 67 at St. Andrews to move to 17-under par for the tournament.

Grace had teamed with Oosthuizen on Wednesday and carried the information he gleaned into his second round on the famed Old Course in a display that included six birdies, including four in succession from the seventh hole, and only one bogey.

"Playing a practice round with Louis on Wednesday this week on the Old Course definitely helped today," said Grace.

"Louis gave me some lines off the tee which was very helpful, especially with the wind off the left.

"The first six holes are not the easiest driving holes out there, and also having Zach on the bag is a really big help."

Grace arrived in Scotland having won three events this year on the European Tour while he was successful in capturing last week's Vodacom Origins of Golf Final at Fancourt on the South African Sunshine Tour.

It was also at Fancourt in January that Grace defeated US Open-winning compatriots Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in a play-off for the Volvo Champions title.

And Grace intends to continue to draw on that victory heading into the final two rounds of the $5 million Dunhill.

Sweden's Joel Sjoholm matched Grace's round of 67 on the Old Course to move into 12-under par as the Gothenburg-based golfer looks to win for a first time on the European Tour.

The 27-year-old has had three top-10s this year including an eighth place in May's BMW International Open after heading into the final day just one shot off the lead.

Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen is joint-second after matching Sjoholm's two-round total of 132.

Germany's Martin Kaymer is the best-placed of the four Ryder Cup players competing this week after adding a round of 71 at Kingsbarns to move to three under par.

"I'm very tired, and especially when you don't make the putts," he said.

"It has been a little difficult to get motivated and I had that fantastic experience on Sunday, and I'm still very inspired.

"I'm very motivated on one hand, but on the other, your body is just a little tired, and you have to listen to your body.

"And with all the time changes and the party on Sunday night there, it is what it is. But it's just difficult to motivate yourself sometimes."

After European captain Jose Maria Olazabal received a congratulatory Ryder Cup communication from the King of Spain, Kaymer said he did not expect a similar message from German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

"Of course, a few athletes were tweeting and e-mailing me, texting me but no, nothing from the German Chancellor," he said.

"I'm sure she heard about it but she has better things to do."

Leading and selected second round scores in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the Old Course St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, Scotland on Friday (GBR/IRL unless stated, par 72):

At Kingsbarns

138 - Oliver Wilson 67-71, Phillip Price 71-67

139 - Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (ESP) 70-69

140 - Thomas Aiken (RSA) 72-68, Mathias Gronberg (SWE) 74-66, Graham Delaet (CAN) 71-69

141 - Robert Jan Derksen (NED) 74-67, Colin Montgomerie 71-70, Ricardo Santos (POR) 72-69, Martin Kaymer (GER) 70-71, Paul Casey 72-69, Mark Foster 72-69, Gregory Havret (FRA) 67-74, Thomas Levet (FRA) 71-70

142 - Pat Perez (USA) 72-70, Steve Webster 70-72, Peter Hedblom (SWE) 74-68, Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA) 73-69, Tjaart Van Der Walt (RSA) 72-70, Peter Hanson (SWE) 72-70, Michael Hoey 71-71


143 - Dustin Johnson (USA) 72-71, Ernie Els (RSA) 73-70

144 - Hennie Otto (RSA) 72-72, Rich Beem (USA) 70-74, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 71-73, Paul McGinley 76-68, Padraig Harrington 71-73

145 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 75-70, Paul Lawrie 75-70, Darren Clarke 75-70

148 - Rohan Blizard (AUS) 75-73

At St Andrews

127 - Branden Grace (RSA) 60-67

132 - Joel Sjoholm (SWE) 65-67

133 - Anton Haig (RSA) 65-68

134 - Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 66-68, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 68-66, Graeme Storm 68-66

135 - Paul Waring 69-66

136 - Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 66-70, Lorenzo Gagli (ITA) 69-67

137 - Estanislao Goya (ARG) 69-68, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 68-69, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 71-66, Simon Khan 68-69

138 - Gary Boyd 69-69, Shane Lowry 69-69, Matthew Baldwin 69-69, Bradley Dredge 69-69


139 - Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 71-68

141 - Jaco Van Zyl (RSA) 72-69

142 - Keith Horne (RSA) 70-72, Nick Cullen (AUS) 71-71

143 - Josh Geary (NZL) 70-73, Christiaan Basson (RSA) 71-72, Allan Versfeld (RSA) 74-69, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 73-70

144 - David Gleeson (AUS) 73-71, Richard Green (AUS) 71-73, Matthew Griffin (AUS) 72-72

145 - Mohd. Siddikur (BAN) 73-72, Kieran Pratt (AUS) 70-75, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 71-74, Adam Crawford (AUS) 71-74

148 - Himmat Singh Rai (IND) 74-74

153 - Ryan Haller (AUS) 78-75

At Carnoustie

132 - Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 63-69

135 - Danny Willett 66-69, Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 62-73, Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE) 64-71

136 - Alexander Noren (SWE) 64-72, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 69-67, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 65-71

137 - Richie Ramsay 65-72, Stephen Gallacher 67-70, James Kingston (RSA) 68-69, Jamie Donaldson 65-72, Pablo Martin (ESP) 67-70, Ashley Hall (AUS) 64-73, Lee Slattery 67-70

138 - David Drysdale 66-72, Michael Campbell (NZL) 67-71


141 - Brett Rumford (AUS) 71-70, Shiv Kapur (IND) 71-70

143 - Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 68-75, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 71-72, George Coetzee (RSA) 71-72

144 - Jbe Kruger (RSA) 71-73, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 68-76

145 - Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 73-72, Peter O'Malley (AUS) 74-71

147 - Matthew Zions (AUS) 74-73, Richard Sterne (RSA) 66-81