Friday, January 09, 2015




David Drysdale is lying T9 in the South African Open at Glendower GC, near Johannesburg after a second-round par 72 for a halfway total of four-under-par 140.
Nuneaton's Andy Sullivan, a Walker Cup hero at Royal Aberdeen in 2011, the year he won the Scottish open amateur stroke-play at Blairgowrie, leads by one from Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) with a 70 for eight-under 136.
Sullivan is chasing his first win on the European Tour.
Joint overnight leader South African Jbe Kruger "blew up" with an 80 for 146.
That's the same tally as Paul Lawrie who had a 75 today two-over-par 146 which proved to be the limit mark for the 66 players who qualified for the final two rounds.
Chris Doak missed out by one stroke with a 76 for 147
 Drysdale, who started at the 10th, had reached eight under par with four birdies in his first 11 holes, but dropped four shots in his last six holes to card a 72 and finish at four under 140, still only four behind leader Sullivan with 36 holes to play.
Drysdale, from Cocksburnpath on the coastal route from Edinburgh to Berwick, dropped shots at the fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth after playing holes 10 to 18 in three-under 33 for the second day in a row with birdies at the 12th, 13th and 15th. His fourth and final birdie came at the second hole as the turned for home.
Lawrie, the 1999 Open champion who "celebrated" his 46th birthday on January 1 and is starting his 24th year on the European Tour, birdied only two par-5 holes, the second and 15th. He had five bogeys - the first, sixth, ninth, 12th and 17th.  
Sullivan, picture right by courtesy of Getty Images(c), who recorded four top-five finishes  on his way to finishing 33rd on The Race to Dubai last season, said: “I thought it was going to be a really good knock on the front nine, but a few little errant drives meant the rough got its payback on me today.
"But anything in red figures is good so I am really happy with the position I am in. I thought I did well on eight to make birdie after a couple of smelly holes in the middle."

As for his prospects of a first win, 28-year-old Sullivan, who turned pro in 2011 after GB and I's Walker Cup victory, added: "When I get in these positions I find myself enjoying it more. It's where you want to be, you practise to be in these situations and I am playing with the guys I always wanted to as a kid. It's fantastic.

"It's new territory to be up there after two rounds but hopefully I can take what I usually do in rounds and three and four and blow the field away."
Els' hopes of a sixth South African Open title looked to have disappeared when he found water with his second shot to the ninth to run up a triple-bogey 7 and reach the turn in 40.
And things went from bad to worse for the four-time Major winner when he also took 7 on the tenth, where he failed to escape a fairway bunker at the first attempt and then three-putted from long range after a poor approach.
At two over par for the tournament, Els was in danger of not making the cut but he covered his last few holes in two-under par, birdieing the 13th and 14th, for a 77 - 10 more than yesterday - and level par 144 saw him in T36 position at halfway.


Par 144 (2x72) Players from S Africa unless stated
136 Andy Sullivan (England) 66 70
137 Charl Schwartzel 68 69
138 Lasse Jensen (Denmark) 67 71, Colin Nel 68 70, J J Senekal 71 67
139 Pablo Martin (Spain) 71 68, Alessandro Tadini (Italy) 71 68, John Parry (England) 70 69.

140 David Drysdale (Scotland) 68 71 (T9)
144 Ernie Els 67 77 (T35)
146 Paul Lawrie (Scotland) 71 75, Jbe Kruger 66 80 (T59)

66 players with 146 and better qualified for final 36 holes.

147 Chris Doak (Scotland) 71 76
152 Scott Henry (Scotland) 77 75





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