Leader ig­nor­ing ti­tle talk

Home­town golfer Schwartzel not get­ting car­ried away in South Africa

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - SPORT -

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.

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 17 th 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,” said.

“I’ve had a few tour­na­ments where I’ve played well, 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.

Oban’s Robert MacIn­tyre is also well po­si­tioned head­ing into the week­end.

The Glen­cruit­ten mem­ber is tied 15th on five un­der af­ter a sec­ond round 67 on the Bush­wil­low course, which in­cluded two ea­gles at holes 6 and 10. Glas­gow’s Ewen Fer­gu­son is also five un­der for the tour­na­ment af­ter rounds of 69 and 68.

Marc War­ren was the only other Scot of the 10 who teed up to make the cut. He is tied 41st af­ter a level par round of 71, which in­cluded an ea­gle, three birdies and five bo­geys.

Gran­town’s Dun­can Ste­wart was among those miss­ing out af­ter fol­low­ing up an open­ing 68 with a 76 for a two-over-par to­tal.

“I’m play­ing well. I’m driv­ing the ball well”

BO­GEY-FREE: Charl Schwartzel of South Africa tees off on the 18th hole dur­ing day two of the South African Open

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