Friday, January 12, 2018

Bradley Neil slumps to second-round 77, 

makes cut on limit mark at South African Open

with some additional words by Colin Farquharson
England's Chris Paisley and Frenchman Adrien Saddier stormed into a joint four-shot lead following the second round of the BMW South African Open Championship hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni.

All three home-based Scots, Marc Warren (142), David Drysdale (144) and Bradley Neil (144) made the cut but it was a close-run thing for Blairgowrie's Neil, pictured, after he slumped to a second-round 77, 10 strokes more than he required on Day 1, and made the cut on the limit mark of par for 36 holes.
Neil started his second round inauspiciously with a double bogey 6, his second of the tournament, but birdied the long second. Then things started to go wrong with three bogeys in a row at the sixth, seven and eighth, to turn in 40.
The former British amateur champion bogeyed the 10th but birdied the 11th and got a vital eagle 3 at the long 15th, which would make all the difference after he bogeyed the 16th, 17th and 18th for 37 home.

Paisley carded seven birdies and a bogey during a first-round six-under par of 66, but managed to better that with eight gains and one dropped shot to surge up the leaderboard and set the halfway target of 13 under par.

Saddier turned on the style as he scored his second unblemished round of the tournament to record a great 64 - which contributed six birdies and an eagle to match the Englishman's score at Glendower Golf Club.

Paisley hit the birdie trail with back-to-back gains at the sixth and seventh to turn in for 34 and sit one shot off morning leader Jacques Kruyswijk on eight under.

Following a flawless first round of four under par, Frenchman Saddier turned in 32 on his front nine after picking up a shot at the 13th and three straight birdies from the 15th.

A birdie at the tenth made Paisley co-leader with South African Kruyswijk at nine under and when he picked up another shot on the par four 12th with a five foot putt, he was the leader.

Paisley found water with his tee shot at the next, which forced him to give a stroke back, but the World Number 289 immediately hit back to record a birdie two at the par three 14th to regain first place after the Frenchman carded his ninth gain of the tournament to move level with Kruyswijk.

The Englishman clipped his bunker shot to concessional range for a gain to extend his lead to 11 under before 15-foot birdie putts at the final two holes moved the 31 year old into a four-stroke lead

However, he was not alone as Saddier finished with an emphatic birdie-eagle-birdie to end the round at nine under and join Paisley as co-leader as the pair search for their maiden European Tour title.

Defending champion Graeme Storm missed the cut after finishing 36 holes on one over par, despite a two-under par 70 during his second round, but player host Ernie Els made the weekend with a three-under par score of 141 for the tournament.

Kruyswijk, who earned his playing privileges at the European Tour through Qualifying School in November, recorded seven gains and two bogeys on his way to a second round 67 to sit in sole third place.

Two-time US Open Championship winner Retief Goosen rolled back the years as he signed for one eagle, six birdies and a bogey coming up to the last, but a double-bogey blemished his score and saw him drop back to eight under.

The lifetime European Tour member is joined by Scott Vincent, who registered the round of the morning as he rattled in seven birdies and one bogey to card an impressive 66, alongside overnight co-leaders Brendan Grace and Chase Koepka for tied fourth.

Marc Warren is the best placed Scot, sharing 41st place on 142 after rounds of 73 and 69. David Drysdale (72-72) and Blairgowrie's Bradley Neil (67-77) made the cut with nothing to spare on the limit mark of level par 144.

par 144 (2x72)
131 Chris Paisley (Eng) 66 65, Adrien Saddier (Fra) 68 63.
135 Jacqus Kruyswijk (SAf) 68 67
136 Scott Vincent (Zimb) 70 66, Branden Grace (SAf) 65 71, Chase Koepka (USA) 65 71, Retief Goosen (SAf) 69 67.

142 Marc Warren 73 69 (T41)
144 David Drysdale 72 72, Bradley Neil 67 77 (T68)

Withdrew: Doug McGuigan 79 wd





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