Lawrie leads at Sun City

2012-11-30 17:44

Sun City - Scotland's Paul Lawrie leads the Nedbank Challenge by one stroke after finishing the second round with a four-under-par total of 140 Friday, but rivals are breathing down his neck.

Martin Kaymer of Germany equalled Lawrie's second round 69 and his 141 total leaves him trailing Lawrie by just one stroke at the 7162-metre Gary Player Country Club course.

Kaymer shot five birdies at the northwest tourism resort of Sun City, blasting from tee-off with under-par putts at the second, fourth and seventh holes.

But the 30-year-old played down his strong performance.

"The first two, three hours are not as easy as they look on tv," he said.

"You have to get the putt right."

Consistent play in the rest of the round sealed his score.

"I just hit a lot of good golf, actually. Even my 15th and 16th I had good chances for birdie. Unfortunately you can't make all the putts," he said.

Especially thick kikuyu roughs have proven a tough challenge for the 12 elite players at the invitational challenge known as the "African Major".

First round joint-leader Bill Haas from the United States fell to third place after a one-over-par 73.

His total of 143 left him tied with Francesco Molinari of Italy, as well as South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, three strokes off the lead.

Defending champion Englishman Lee Westwood trails Lawrie by four strokes with a level par total of 144.

Disastrous is an apt description for the other first round leader, Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts, whose two bogeys and two double-bogeys saw him drop to four-over-par 148, tied with South African Garth Mulroy, whose round of 73 drew him one up from the bottom of the table.

Trailing last is the highest-ranked player, England's world number four Justin Rose. The only one with a worst round than Colsaerts, Rose carded 79 for an eight-over-par 152.

140 - Paul Lawrie(SCO) 71 69
141 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 72 69
143 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 72 71, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 72 71, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 71 72, Bill Haas (USA) 70 73
144 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 71 73
145 - Peter Hanson (SWE) 72 73
147 - Carl Pettersson (SWE) 72 75
148 - Garth Mulroy (RSA) 75 73, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 70 78
152 - Justin Rose (ENG) 73 79