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Ten-under round is not quite perfect for Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel delivered a magical 10-under-par round of 61 on a rain-affected day two of the Joburg Open to storm into a share of the lead at the halfway stage.

The defending champion kept all errors off the card as he notched up 10 birdies to join fellow South African Garth Mulroy and Englishman Jamie Elson on 13-under at the top of the leaderboard, one shot ahead of the field.

The pair both shot seven-under 64s on the tougher east course of the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, while Schwartzel's effort came on the west.

Schwartzel’s 61 would have beaten the previous 62 course record had the rules not been lift, clean and place — implemented due to the wet conditions.

This week's co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour event is being played over the two courses on the first two days — the rounds are divided between the par-71 east and west courses, before the cut is made and the weekend played on the east side.

Heavy rain around the area, though, meant play had to be suspended for close to three hours, with more than 25 players now set to return this morning to complete their rounds after organisers called off play at 6.50pm local time.

Heading the chasing pack are a trio of South Africans, amongst them James Kingston, whose 62 on the west course was the second lowest round of the day.

Also on 12 under are joint-round one leader Tyrone Mordt (68) and Thomas Aiken (66).

Darren Clarke carded a three-under 68 to move to four-under overall, the same as former champion Richard Sterne (70).

They are expected to make the cut, but will find difficulty in catching the leaders.

Elson managed to reel off five successive birdies after a second bogey-free round and said: “I played fantastic, I mean a lot of fairways and a lot of greens, managed to hole a few putts obviously and shot a lovely score, seven under — I'm delighted with that.

“It's very wet out there and playing exactly like it did last year.

“I managed to get of to a decent start, I was keen to have a good start after yesterday shooting six under on the west. I was bogey free again, so all in all, it was pretty perfect round of golf.”

Belfast Telegraph


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