Schwartzel sets the pace as he steps up bid for home suc­cess

Belfast Telegraph - - SPORT - BY ROBERT JONES

would have sat on the sofa as well, too.

“So we were in­tro­duced to that, run­ning about, play­ing about and she was walk­ing. You had me­mories of that when you were younger.”

He ex­plains the health ben­e­fits.

“Ev­ery sin­gle thing the Gov­ern­ment are try­ing to do to stop cancer and child­hood obe­sity in­volves tar­get­ing these groups, but the groups they want to tar­get are ours.

“We have women in their 40s, who are a high-risk group. We tick a lot of boxes, we have a kids group, cross-com­mu­nity. Men in their 40s and 50s, we have a lot of men who have stopped play­ing foot­ball. I have seen it all down through the years where lads stop play­ing foot­ball, they might play a bit of in­door soc­cer and play past it. They have got heavy and put on a cou­ple of stone, get into a bit of a rut.

“Boys from their early 40s… that is an age bracket you want to tar­get to keep ex­er­cis­ing. That’s the kind of groups that are at risk of di­a­betes and obe­sity and heart problems.”

He con­tin­ues: “There was al­ways a good rugby team and loads of good Gaelic teams in this area. But that can only at­tract 15 men on each team. There was noth­ing for peo- ple out­side of that. Peo­ple thought they couldn’t try, that run­ning is for 10 stone waifs. But then they saw all the women who do train and none of them got it easy at the start.

“My big thing is that I never fo­cus too much on speed. I’ve seen it down through the years with fel­las who fell out of love with it be­cause they were run­ning for the wrong rea­sons.

“Go­ing to 10ks and try­ing to get faster and then they just got fed up with it and stopped run­ning.”

Now, a friendly at­mos­phere and a happy camp make it some­thing peo­ple are sac­ri­fic­ing home com­forts for.

“If you are sit­ting in on a Satur­day night with nowhere to go to on a Sun­day, you would prob­a­bly — not that there is any­thing wrong with it — but you would or­der a pizza and drink beers or a bot­tle of wine,” he rea­sons.

“But if you have run­ning in the morn­ing, you might think that you will leave it out.”

More and more are mak­ing that choice. And it’s do­ing them no harm. CHARL Schwartzel will take a one-shot lead into the week­end af­ter fir­ing an ex­cel­lent bo­gey-free 63 on day two of the South African Open.

The 2011 Masters cham­pion is look­ing for a first win since 2016 and made six birdies and a spec­tac­u­lar ea­gle over the Bush­wil­low Course at Rand­park Golf Club to get to 12 un­der.

Zam­bian Madal­itso Muthiya was at 11 un­der, a shot clear of 2010 Open cham­pion Louis Oosthuizen, fel­low South African Zan­der Lombard and Amer­ica’s Kurt Ki­tayama.

It proved to be a dis­ap­point­ing day for Ul­ster­man Michael Hoey as he fol­lowed up a first round 75 with a one over par, 72. That left him five over and miss­ing the cut.

Birdies at the first and fifth helped Schwartzel turn in 33 and he was edg­ing into con­tention af­ter fur­ther gains on the 11th, 12th and 14th.

A long putt on the 16th had him within one of the lead and de­spite hav­ing to lay up on the 17th af­ter a poor tee-shot, he spun his third into the cup on the par five for an ea­gle.

The South African has six top fives with­out a vic­tory at his home Open and was re­fus­ing to get car­ried away af­ter see­ing some re­cent good form fail to yield a vic­tory.

“I still can’t fig­ure out why I’m not get­ting the per­for­mances I need, even af­ter that round,” he said.

“I’ve had a few tour­na­ments where I’ve played well like this, so I’m not go­ing to talk too much yet.

“There’s lots of golf to play. All I know is I’m play­ing well. I’m driv­ing the ball well and I haven’t been do­ing that con­sis­tently.”

Muthiya carded a 68 on the Firethorn Course, a score matched by Lombard on the Bush­wil­low. Ki­tayama reg­is­tered a 69 on the Bush­wil­low, with Oosthuizen bat­tling to a 70 on the Firethorn.

Eng­land’s Matt Wal­lace was play­ing along­side Oosthuizen and he signed for a 69 to sit at eight un­der.

Happy fam­ily: Joe, Ce­line and Con­nor McCar­roll at a race; (right) Con­nor McCar­roll in the DublinMarathonStill win­ning: mum Ce­line McCar­roll at 70 Sadly missed: The late Paul Mur­ray was an en­thu­si­as­ticrun­nerBirdie blitz: Charl Schwartzel

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