Englishman sets lightning pace before play abandoned
Graeme Storm shot a brilliant 63 to take a twoshot lead and keep world number two Rory McIlroy at bay on day two of the BMW South Africa Open in Johannesburg yesterday.
TheEnglishmanthought he had lost his playing privileges on the European Tour by an agonising £90 following the Portugal Masters in October but was handed a reprieve as United States Ryder Cup player Patrick Reed failed to play the required number of events.
Storm took advantage in some style, carding nine birdies in a blemish-free effort which equalled the course record at the Glendower to get to 12-under 132 and lead the way from home duo Trevor Fisher and Jbe Kruger, and American Peter Uihlein.
McIlroy was then a further shot back after a remarkable 68 that saw him pick up eight shots in as many holes from the eighth to the 15th but also record three bogeys and a double bogey.
Storm made his birdies on the 10th, 11th, 12th 18th, first, third, fifth, sixth and eighth and was in no doubt as to the key to his success.
“The putter was hot, was hot yesterday and was hot today,” he said.
“I could have birdied a couple more of the par 5s, I only birdiedoneofthemtoday.
“So to shoot 63 and only having birdied one of the it it par 5s around here, I know that I’ve played pretty well.
“I tip Rory to win this week because he hits it milesandhe hits it straight. If I keep on his tail, I’ll be happy.”
McIlroy’s eight- hole burst did not include a single missed putt and was all the more remarkable considering he was struggling with a back injury.
“I’m surprised I’m standing here, I thought about pulling out before even teeing off today,” he said.
“I tweaked my back somehow and the first few shots today weren’t very comfortable and it still isn’t really comfortable.
“I can’t really take a deep breath because I’ve done something to my upper back.
“I’m going to go get some treatment now. Considering that, Iplayed well, stuck at it and hopefully I can feel better tomorrow.”
English pair Laurie CanterandJordanLSmith, Scot David Drysdale and South African Keith Horne were alongside McIlroy on 135, with Jaco van Zyl a further shot back after recording a hole in one on the 17th which won him a £100,000 BMW i8.
The threat of lightning brought an early end to proceedings, with 45 players returning to finish their rounds this morning.
Grantown’s Duncan Stewart was lying last in the field on six over with four holes remaining when play was abandoned.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
IRON IS HOT: For Graeme Storm, who leads theBMWSouth Africa Open John Jacobs, who helped found the European Tour and was twice European Ryder Cup captain, has died at the age of 91. Born in Woodsetts, Yorkshire, Jacobs led the Ryder Cup teams in 1979 and 1981, which were the first two competitions to feature a combined European side. His death was announced on the European Tour website. In 1954, Jacobs led the calls for the modernisation of the game to include an increase and better
distribution of prize funds. Jacobs took up the role of tournament director general of the PGA executive committee in October 1971 and went to establish a “Continental Swing” which embraced the French, German and Spanish Opens, with the latter becoming the first official European Tour event at Pals Golf Club in Girona during April 1972. Jacobs was made an OBE in 1997 and in 2000 was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Jaco van Zyl: Won £100,000 car for ace
John Jacobs: Influential figure in golf