Louis closer to catch­ing Ser­gio

TOUR­NA­MENT SET FOR THRILLING WEEK­END

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT -

Ser­gio Garcia said he was hop­ing for a 68 or a 69, but had to set­tle for a 71 in the sec­ond round of the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge yes­ter­day, which was still enough to keep the Spaniard in the lead at the half­way stage of the Eu­ro­pean Tour co-sanc­tioned event.

Garcia be­gan the sec­ond day with a four-shot lead af­ter his bril­liant open­ing-round 64, but four bo­geys yes­ter­day saw the two-time cham­pion bat­tle to a one-un­der-par round, set­ting up a thrilling pair­ing to­day with Louis Oosthuizen, the South African roar­ing up the leader­board to sec­ond with a five-un­der-par 67, one stroke be­hind Garcia.

“It’s al­ways ex­cit­ing play­ing with Louis, it’s ex­tra spe­cial be­cause he is a friend, an amaz­ing player and a lo­cal. I felt I played nicely to­day but it’s not ideal to see three-putts, but some of the pins were al­most im­pos­si­ble,” a phleg­matic Garcia said.

Oosthuizen, hav­ing bo­geyed the par-four eighth in the first round, dou­ble-bo­geyed the stroke-one hole yes­ter­day, but had no other dropped shots. He quickly re­bounded by mak­ing ea­gle on the 10th hole and he added back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15 to com­plete a good day’s work.

“I started with three birdies in the first four holes, I’m play­ing good, I hit the ball nicely and I’m rolling the ball well on the greens. But then I all of a sud­den didn’t make any putts for a while and on the week­end, I need those putts that just aren’t go­ing in to start go­ing in if I’m go­ing to win,” said Oosthuizen.

Fin­land’s Mikko Korho­nen is alone in third, three shots off the lead, af­ter a two-un­der-par 70. Dy­lan Frit­telli climbed up into a share of fourth, five shots be­hind, af­ter an ex­cel­lent 67, while Dar­ren Fichardt (67) and Bran­den Grace (71) are both in the group tied for eighth on three-un­der­par over­all, six be­hind Garcia.

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