Leader ignoring title talk
Hometown golfer Schwartzel not getting carried away in South Africa
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