Charl Schwartzel shares halfway lead with Marco Crespi in South Africa

Charl Schwartzel at the South African Open
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Charl Schwartzel leads the South African Open after five birdies and an eagle on Friday.
By
Gerald Imray
Associated Press

Series: European Tour

JOHANNESBURG – Charl Schwartzel shot a 7-under 65 Friday to take a share of the halfway lead at the European Tour's season-opening South African Open. 

The 2011 Masters champion had five birdies and an eagle in his first nine on the way to 12-under 132 and a place alongside Marco Crespi (67) after two rounds at Glendower Golf Club. 

Morten Orum Madsen (66) was a shot behind the leaders. 

Overnight leader Matthew Nixon (72) slipped into a tie for seventh and two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (71) is tied for 12th at 7 under. 

Schwartzel had the round of the day despite slipping slightly on the back nine, where three bogeys prevented him from taking a commanding lead at his home tournament – where he has never won before. 

"I holed some nice putts and played some great shots to turn in 7 under. It looked like it could be a really low one at one stage," Schwartzel said. 

2014 SCHEDULE: European Tour to play no less than 48 events over 12-month span

He joined Crespi at 12 under after the Italian had set the early pace with six birdies and a single drop. 

Madsen was alone in third and Christiaan Basson was fourth a further shot back at 10 under. Nixon shared seventh at 8 under after a double bogey on the par-4 No. 10 spoiled his round. 

Goosen, the South African Open champion in 2005, was hanging in after a tougher day on Friday. He had an eagle on No. 15 but also double bogeyed No. 5 for a 71 to go with his opening-round 66. He is five shots off the lead. 

David Duval missed the cut in Johannesburg after a second straight 74 took him to 4 over after two rounds. European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley struggled with a 76 with six bogeys to drop out with a 7-over 151 after two rounds. 

Schwartzel's younger brother Attie is 6 under after two rounds, six shots behind his more famous sibling.