Sunshine Tour

Schwartzel takes halfway lead

2013-11-22 19:22
Charl Schwartzel (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg – For a while on the opening nine of the Glendower Golf Club on Friday, Charl Schwartzel looked as if he was going to seal the deal for his first South African Open Championship.

In the end, three bogeys on his homeward nine slowed him down, and his seven-under-par 65 saw him reach the halfway mark of the tournament in a share of the lead at 12-under-par with Italy’s Marco Crespi.

His opening salvo was blistering: He made birdies on his first three holes, and another on the fifth, before an eagle three on eight saw him surge to 11-under-par and just one behind Crespi who had completed his round in the morning.

Another birdie on nine saw him draw level and he seemed destined to race clear unchallenged – and unchallengeable as he turned in seven-under-par 29.

“It was great to turn in that low number and get my name up the board very quickly,” he said.

“I didn’t really get ahead of myself. I thought if I could stick to the plan and shoot two- or three-under around the back nine then that would have been ideal for me.”

But a three-putt on the 10th – from relatively short range, too – stopped the charge in its tracks.

Then he dumped his approach on 13 into the water and had to settle for bogey there too.

On the par-three 17th, he missed the green, and two putts saw him make his third bogey.

But he had made three birdies in a row from 14 to 16 to move for a moment into the outright lead, and, in the end, was pleased with his performance: He had hit the fairways more consistently in his second round, and his putting – bar the poor effort on 10 – was deadly with 26 putts in his second round compared to 26 in the first.

“The front nine I hit the ball fantastically and hit it close. I rolled in quite a lot of putts,” he said.

“The greens are so good that if you read the lines right and start it on line then they’ll go in.

I’ve been putting well for a long time and I’m excited to putt on these greens.

"It showed, because I converted all of those iron shots that I hit close.”

Schwartzel and Crespi take a one-stroke edge over Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark into the weekend, with Christiaan Basson, who recovered from a double bogey on 17 – on his opening nine – to post a fine 68, a further shot back on 10-under-par.

Jbe’ Kruger and England’s James Morrison shared fifth on nine-under.

Also poised well are Ulrich van den Berg and James Kamte on eight-under-par: They have each won the BMG Classic at Glendower recently – Van den Berg in October and Kamte in 2011.

They both like the course and they both know how to play well on it.

They are all in with a shout over the weekend, as Schwartzel knows only too well. “It’s only half way. I’ve got to head out and keep going,” he said.

“This field has lots of guys that still have a chance. You’ve got to keep going and keep making birdies, then the win will take care of itself.”

Scores (RSA unless specified):
132 - Marco Crespi (ITA) 65 67, Charl Schwartzel 67 65
133 - Morten Orum Madsen (DEN) 67 66
134 - Christiaan Basson 66 68
135 - Jbe' Kruger 65 70, James Morrison (ENG) 69 66
136 - Tom Lewis (ENG) 68 68, Matthew Nixon (ENG) 64 72, Ulrich van den Berg 70 66, James Kamte 69 67, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 69 67
137 - Trevor Fisher Jnr 70 67, Neil Schietekat 69 68, Daan Huizing (NED) 68 69, Thomas Aiken 70 67, Retief Goosen 66 71, Andrea Pavan (ITA) 67 70, Garth Mulroy 70 67
138 - Attie Schwartzel 67 71, Hennie Otto 72 66, Danie van Tonder 68 70, Alastair Forsyth (SCO) 72 66, Jean Hugo 71 67
139 - Christopher Doak (SCO) 71 68, Bennie van der Merwe 69 70, Oliver Bekker 70 69, Thomas Levet (FRA) 69 70, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 71 68, Johan Carlsson (SWE) 69 70, Peter Whiteford(SCO) 71 68, Allan Versfeld 71 68, Warren Abery 68 71
140 - Ross Fisher (ENG) 71 69, Jared Harvey 71 69, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 72 68, Vaughn Groenewald 70 70, Anthony Wall (ENG) 70 70, Kristoffer Broberg (SWE) 73 67, Martin du Toit 70 70
141 - Louis Taylor (AMA) 71 70, James Heath (ENG) 75 66, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 72 69, Doug McGuigan 71 70, Heinrich Bruiners 69 72, Peter Karmis 69 72, Alexander Levy (FRA) 69 72, JJ Senekal 71 70, Chris Swanepoel 70 71, Steve Surry (ENG) 68 73, PH McIntyre 73 68, Jaco Van Zyl 71 70, Charl Coetzee 70 71
142 - Seve Benson (ENG) 72 70, Keenan Davidse 70 72, Merrick Bremner 73 69, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 72 70, Jamie McLeary (SCO) 74 68, David Drysdale (SCO) 71 71, Simon Thornton (IRL) 70 72, Adam Gee (ENG) 73 69, Sihwan Kim (KOR) 72 70, Justin Walters 72 70, Simon Dyson (ENG) 68 74, Darren Fichardt 77 65, Michael Hollick 75 67, Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 73 69
Missed the cut:-
143 - Lyle Rowe 75 68, Estanislao Goya (ARG) 70 73, Justin Harding 69 74, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 68 75, Jake Roos 72 71, David Frost 68 75, Theunis Spangenberg 70 73, Wallie Coetsee 72 71, Brandon Stone 70 73, Andrew Curlewis 76 67
144 - Mikael Lundberg (SWE) 74 70, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 72 72, Sipho Bujela 71 73, Tjaart van der Walt 73 71, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (AMA) 73 71, Romain Wattel (FRA) 71 73, Tyrone Mordt 73 71, Teboho Sefatsa 73 71, Colin Nel 74 70, Simon Wakefield (ENG) 70 74, Francois Calmels (FRA) 72 72, Matthew Baldwin (ENG) 72 72, Gareth Maybin (NIR) 72 72, Nacho Elvira (ESP) 72 72
145 - Daniel Hammond 73 72, Robert Rock (ENG) 72 73, Victor Riu (FRA) 71 74, Ockie Strydom 75 70, Drikus Bruyns 73 72, Mark Williams 72 73, Lindani Ndwandwe 76 69, Peter Lawrie (IRL) 74 71, Soren Hansen (DEN) 75 70, Ross Wellington 75 70
146 - Francois Coetzee 75 71, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 72 74, Craig Lee (SCO) 74 72, Ruan de Smidt 76 70, Grant Muller 72 74, N.J. Arnoldi (AMA) 74 72, Graeme Storm (ENG) 75 71, Eddie Pepperell (ENG) 73 73, Keith Horne 71 75, Dean Burmester 74 72, Dawie Van der Walt 72 74, Jaco Ahlers 73 73
147 - Andreas Harto (DEN) 75 72, Jacques Blaauw 73 74, Bryce Easton 71 76, Richard Finch (ENG) 79 68, JG Claassen 77 70, Damien McGrane (IRL) 77 70, Michael Hoey (NIR) 75 72
148 - Desvonde Botes 75 73, Scott Jamieson 73 75, Toto Thimba (Jnr) 77 71, David Duval (USA) 74 74, Tyrone Ferreira 72 76, T I Mazibuko 75 73
149 - Justin Turner 71 78, Paul Waring (ENG) 77 72, Matthew Carvell 75 74, Thriston Lawrence (AMA) 71 78, Shaun Norris 77 72, Pieter Moolman 75 74
150 - Adrian Otaegui (ESP) 75 75, Titch Moore 71 79, Gert Myburgh 75 75, Zander Lombard (AMA) 77 73, James Kingston 75 75
151 - Louis de Jager 74 77, Paul McGinley (IRL) 75 76, Brandon Pieters 75 76, Andrew Georgiou 77 74, Justin Brink 79 72
152 - Hendrik Buhrmann 73 79, Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 75 77, Dion Fourie 72 80, Alex Haindl 78 74
153 - Lee Slattery (ENG) 76 77, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 78 75
154 - Wynand Dingle 77 77, JB Hansen (DEN) 76 78, Pieter Kruger 80 74
156 - Niclas Fasth (SWE) 77 79, Gavan Levenson 76 80, Steve Webster (ENG) 78 78
157 - Jacobus Mouton 80 77, Pablo Martin Benavides (ESP) 78 79
RTD - Stephen Swanepoel 89 RTD

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