Friday, January 15, 2010


Lynn leads - and Scots challenge is likely

to be decimated if cut falls at 139

As leading Scot Alastair Forsyth plummeted from a 64 to a 76 to face a sleepless night, England’s David Lynn shot an impressive 67 on the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington East Course to lead the Joburg Open at the halfway stage in South Africa today.
The Stoke golfer, who has only won once on The European Tour in more than 300 attempts, added to his opening 63 over the shorter West Course to reach 12 under par 130.
That was one better than last week’s Africa Open winner Charl Schwartzel, who produced three birdies in his bogey-free 68.
“It seems like the form from last week is carrying over and with a good weekend, if I play like I’m playing, it could get very interesting,” he said.
“If you can eliminate the mistakes, you’re always going to be playing good golf,” he said.
And he made a 10ft putt for birdie on 18 which took him one shot closer to Lynn than he might have been. “You need to make those little ten or 12 footers to keep you in the tournament,” he added.
Lynn soon hit the top of the leaderboard with a birdie at the first, only to give the shot back with a bogey at the fourth.
But there were to be no more mistakes from the 2004 KLM Open winner, who added four more birdies.
“I got off to a good start, hitting it stiff on the first for birdie, and that put me in a good frame of mind,” he said.
“I continued to play like I was playing yesterday. Yesterday I was a bit tentative with the putter, today it was much easier though,” he added.
Tied for third are two more players who were on the difficult East Course for their second rounds, Darren Clarke and Jbe’ Kruger, and two from the West - Hendrik Buhrmann – who blazed around with a seven under par 64, and England’s Danny Willett.
It could have been even better for South African Buhrmann, who reached the turn in a six under 30 before five consecutive pars ended any hopes of an elusive first 59 on The European Tour.
The 41 year old Clarke, whose opening 63 was his best round on The European Tour for a decade, was three under for his front nine and a likely challenger to Lynn’s position.
The Ulsterman could only come back in 36 and missed a straight-forward birdie putt at the last, but he is still well placed to challenge for a first win in two years.
A second lightning delay halted play for the day with 30 players yet to complete their rounds, so play will resume at 7am on Saturday for those 30, and the third round will begin at 9.20 local time.
SCOTSWATCH BY COLIN FARQUHARSON: The projected cut figure is that players with three-under-par 139 will make it through to rounds three and four. Former Scottish amateur champion Andrew McArthur from Windyhill, Glasgow is one of those still to finish - and three-under-par is his overall position with three holes to go when play resumes.
If 139 is the cut-off point, then Alastair Forsyth, who did so well on Thursday, will see no more action in the Joburg Open. He followed up a 64 with a 76 for 140 (two under par). But he was not alone in having a bad second day at the office. Apart from McArthur, who is a work in progress, you might say, only Peter Whiteford (69 for 135) and Alan McLean (66 for 137) of the Scots contingent are going to be left to carry the Scottish Standard over rounds three and four. Let's hope the computer projections are wrong and that the cut is higher than 139.
LATER NEWS SATURDAY MORNING. The cut did indeed fall at 139 and Andrew McArthur made it with nothing to spare. The only other Scots to qualify were Peter Whiteford and Glasgow-born, South African-reared, Canadian-domiciled Alan McLean.




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