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Grace storms to top of leaderboard

The lead is still four shots after two rounds of the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt in South Africa - but now it is local man Branden Grace rather than Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts out in front.

For the second day running, though, Padraig Harrington finished with a double-bogey seven and, having also dropped shots on the previous two holes, the Dubliner's 73 left him with eight shots to make up like Open champion Darren Clarke (68) and England's Tom Lewis (74).

Grace, last man into the European Tour's winners-only event thanks to his victory at the Joburg Open last Sunday, shot 66 to reach 12 under par. Colsaerts, on the other hand, had a 76 - 12 more than his course record first round - to drop to joint fifth place.

While that was the joint worst score of the day, the best was a 65 from England's Lee Slattery. And it not only lifted the 33-year-old from 22nd to joint second with Thomas Aiken, another of the home contingent, but also earned him a £25,000 car.

Playing partner Retief Goosen (68) received the same prize as they combined with English amateur Mark Vandenberghe to win the one-round team event.

Jose Maria Olazabal almost joined them in winning a car, lipping out for a hole-in-one at the short 17th, but Europe's Ryder Cup captain - at 596th in the world the lowest-ranked player in the 35-strong field - was happy enough with a 68 to be in fourth spot on his own.

Only last month 23-year-old Grace was at the Tour qualifying school in Spain, but he came through that six-day ordeal in joint 10th place and has been flying ever since.

"I'm just really enjoying it out there," he said after grabbing eight birdies.

"It's probably my favourite course in the world and coming back here is a fabulous feeling, especially playing well."


From Belfast Telegraph