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O’Hara keeps Goosen at bay

2011-11-26 06:05

Ekurhuleni – Scotsman Steven O’Hara went bogey-free around Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate on Friday to take a one-stroke lead heading into the weekend at the €1-million SA Open Championship.

A late pair of birdies took O’Hara to 11-under, one stroke clear of two-time champion Retief Goosen and Merrick Bremner ahead of a cut to 65 professionals and ties.

“I have played really well, my whole game feels in good shape. I need a good finish to keep my card on the European Tour, a top three or four finish so I’ve put myself in a good position to do that,” said O’Hara.

The top 115 players in the Race to Dubai qualify for Tour cards in 2012. O’Hara holds 134th and must finish within the top three to move 19 spots up the money list and claim his spot. “This will be my last one unless I get a top-five finish, which may get me into Hong Kong. It’s like I’ve got nothing to lose anyway, so been a bit more aggressive this week,” he said.

His front nine was a quiet affair - a birdie at the 2nd would be his only exception to a string of pars and he turned at one-under for the round.

O’Hara birdied the 11th and looked set to stay below the radar when he penciled in pars from the 12th to the 15th.

With windy conditions hampering play, he carded an impressive pair of birdies at 16 and 17. He went on to sign for 68 and top the leaderboard at 11-under. “The wind was getting really blustery and it was difficult to get the right club. If you’re not in the right spot you’ve got a really tough putt on the greens. My iron play was really good on the back nine, I was quite pleased,” he said.

Retief Goosen closed the day one stroke back, but was optimistic heading into the weekend, saying “any time I’m one shot off the lead going into the weekend it’s great.”

He carded a single drop at the par-three 5th, but five birdies along his 18 secured a solid attacking position ahead of Saturday.

Merrick Bremner looked set to crash when he followed a drop at the 12th with a double-drop at the 13th, but confidence paid off and he closed with birdies at the 14th, 15th and 18th to reclaim his share of second.

O’Hara was ready to fight for his survival as he headed into the second half of the SA Open.

“I’m just going to go out and keep doing what I’ve been doing. Keep trusting my swing and if I’ve got a position to win on Sunday, then brilliant,” said the Scotsman

Scores after Day 2 at the SA Open: (RSA, unless noted)

133 - Steven O'Hara (SCO) 65 68
134 - Retief Goosen 66 68, Merrick Bremner 66 68
135 - Lyle Rowe 69 66, Garth Mulroy 67 68
136 - Jean Hugo 67 69, Jbe' Kruger 65 71
137 - Thomas Aiken 68 69, Keith Horne 68 69, Lloyd Saltman (SCO) 69 68, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 69 68, Branden Grace 69 68, Hennie Otto 70 67
138 - Tyrone Mordt 66 72, Ernie Els 69 69, Jeppe Huldahl (DEN) 68 70, Graeme Storm (ENG) 70 68, Jaco Van Zyl 69 69, Simon Wakefield (ENG) 71 67, Phillip Price (WAL) 68 70, Thomas Norret (DEN) 69 69, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA) 68 70
139 - Tim Sluiter (NED) 70 69, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 73 66, Joel Sjoholm (SWE) 71 68
140 - Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 70 70, Oliver Wilson (ENG) 69 71, David Drysdale (SCO) 68 72, Darren Fichardt 71 69, Markus Brier (AUT) 68 72, Chris Swanepoel 72 68, Andre Cruse 71 69, Shaun Norris 67 73, Richard McEvoy (ENG) 70 70, Wade Ormsby(AUS) 70 70, Trevor Fisher Jnr 68 72, Thabang Simon 69 71
141 - Mikko Korhonen (FIN) 70 71, Elliot Saltman (SCO) 69 72, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 70 71, Tjaart van der Walt 72 69, Jaco Ahlers 74 67, Tano Goya (ARG) 71 70, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 72 69, Colin Nel 73 68, Louis Moolman 69 72, George Murray (SCO) 69 72, Alvaro Velasco (ESP) 69 72, Mark Brown (NZL) 68 73, David Frost 68 73, Richard Bland (ENG) 72 69, Peter Whiteford(SCO) 70 71, Maarten Lafeber (NED) 73 68, Sam Little (ENG) 74 67, Ockie Strydom 69 72
142 - Brandon Stone (AMA) 73 69, Alastair Forsyth(SCO) 70 72, Justin Harding 71 71, Warren Abery 74 68, Ulrich van den Berg 69 73, Alex Haindl 73 69, Josh Cunliffe 72 70, Matthew Nixon (ENG) 74 68, Manuel Quiros (ESP) 71 71, Gareth Maybin (NIR) 69 73, Robert Rock (ENG) 72 70, Lee Slattery (ENG) 70 72, Floris de Vries (NED) 69 73, Dodge Kemmer (USA) 72 70, David Hewan 66 76, Chris Williams 70 72, Jared Harvey (AMA) 68 74
Missed the cut:-
143 - PH McIntyre 70 73, Martin Maritz 72 71, George Coetzee 68 75, Felipe Aguilar (CHL) 67 76, Tyrone Ferreira 72 71, Andreas Hartø (DEN) 73 70, Soren Hansen (DEN) 68 75, Simon Dyson (ENG) 70 73, Daniel Greene 71 72, Neil Schietekat 75 68, Mark Williams 73 70
144 - Anthony Michael 73 71, Mark Tullo (CHI) 71 73, Léan Boezaart (AMA) 71 73, Oscar Floren (SWE) 75 69, James Kamte 75 69, Clinton Whitelaw 70 74, Robert Coles (ENG) 72 72, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 72 72, Jake Roos 69 75, Garry Hill 74 70, Prinavin Nelson 70 74
145 - Michiel Bothma 72 73, Tyrone van Aswegen 75 70, Robert Dinwiddie (ENG) 74 71, Michael Stewart (SCO) (AMA) 74 71, Andrew Curlewis 69 76, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 72 73, Allan Versfeld 74 71, Julien Guerrier (FRA) 74 71, Danie van Tonder 71 74, Lindani Ndwandwe 70 75, Oliver Bekker 71 74
146 - Justin Walters 74 72, Linus Gillgren (SWE) 72 74, Alan Michell 73 73, Grant Muller 70 76, Liam Bond (WAL) 74 72, Darryn Lloyd 71 75, Jacques Blaauw 71 75, Doug McGuigan 77 69, Adam Gee (ENG) 72 74
147 - Louis de Jager 73 74, David Howell (ENG) 73 74, Alan McLean (SCO) 71 76, Oskar Henningsson (SWE) 74 73, Pablo Martin (ESP) 70 77, Ariel Canete (ARG) 71 76, Haydn Porteous (AMA) 73 74
148 - Eirik Tage Johansen (NOR) 73 75, Christiaan Basson 75 73, Brandon Pieters 74 74, TC Charamba (ZIM) 73 75, John Parry (ENG) 70 78
149 - Alexandre Kaleka (FRA) 80 69, Richard Finch (ENG) 72 77, Charl Coetzee 75 74, Niclas Fasth (SWE) 72 77, Ruan de Smidt (AMA) 75 74, PG van Zyl 77 72, Johan du Buisson 77 72, Omar Sandys 70 79
150 - Neil Cheetham (ENG) 77 73, Seve Benson (ENG) 77 73, James Kingston 76 74, Nick Dougherty (ENG) 76 74, Willie van der Merwe 73 77
151 - Bradford Vaughan 73 78, Des Terblanche 74 77, Daniel Gaunt (AUS) 77 74, Deane Pappas 73 78, Matt Haines (ENG) 73 78
152 - Divan van den Heever 77 75, JG Claassen 71 81
153 - Gavan Levenson 73 80, Theunis Spangenberg 80 73
154 - Toto Thimba (Jnr) 76 78
155 - Sean Farrell (ZIM) 75 80
156 - David Dixon (ENG) 79 77
158 - Bennie van der Merwe 79 79
160 - Rynardt Combrinck 80 80
RTD - Stephen Dodd (WAL) 77 RTD, Julio Zapata (ARG) 74 RTD

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