Lawrie shines in Sun City
Scotland's Paul Lawrie is the one-shot leader at the halfway stage of the Nedbank Challenge, with his three-under-par 69 giving him the edge at Sun City.
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The Ryder Cup winner takes the slenderest of advantages into the third day, with Martin Kaymer a shot behind.
Four players then trail on one under; Bill Haas, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, with two-time defending champion Lee Westwood on level par.
Behind him is Peter Hanson (one over), before a real gap to the rest, with Carl Pettersson three over, Nicolas Colsaerts and Garth Mulroy four over and finally, Justin Rose, a further four shots back.
iT was a horror day for the Englishman, a seven-over 79 not amongst his finest rounds, but Lawrie will at least sleep easy after his 69.
He could have signed for an even better score too, with a bogey on the 15th-hole par four stopping him from registering the outright best round of the day.
Kaymer also carded a 69 consisting of five birdies and two bogeys, while Westwood, looking for a third successive win at the event, was left to rue a bogey and a double-bogey six at the par-four 16th as he ended one over for the day.
He had little on compatriot Rose, though, whose score was heavily undermined by a triple bogey on the par-four third.
Lawrie's controlled round was all the more impressive considering the wind which ripped around the course.
Save for a couple of close shaves with the putter, he could have done even better.
"I played nicely, I struggled a bit with the driver so I hit a lot of three-woods off the tees. I hit my three-wood pretty far, but I also hit a lot of good shots with my irons. The greens are a little slower and I left a few putts out there," he said.
"The wind was swirling, and it was quite difficult. It was chopping and changing - a little bit like Augusta. It is difficult to get the distance right this week, but so far we only got a couple wrong so we've done okay."
In such a compact field, though, he knows he has little time to relax.
"The leaderboard is pretty damn packed, and pretty close together," he added.
"There is still a lot of golf to play and a lot of time for guys to come back who struggled in the first two days. So far, so good for me, but there is still a long way to go."
Collated second-round scores and totals:
140 Paul Lawrie 71 69
141 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 72 69
143 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 72 71, Bill Haas (USA) 70 73, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 72 71, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 71 72
144 Lee Westwood 71 73
145 Peter Hanson (Swe) 72 73
147 Carl Pettersson (Swe) 72 75
148 Garth Mulroy (Rsa) 75 73, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 70 78
152 Justin Rose 73 79