Schwartzel shares second-round lead with Bourdy at Alfred Dunhill C'ship

Charl Schwartzel at the Alfred Dunhill Championship
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Charl Schwartzel had six birdies and an eagle Friday at the Alfred Dunhill championship to reach 13-under 131 after 36 holes.
By news services

Series: European Tour

Published: Friday, December 14, 2012 | 12:43 p.m.

MALELANE, South Africa -- Charl Schwartzel shot an 8-under 64 Friday, surging into a share of the lead after two rounds of the Alfred Dunhill Championship. The event is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and southern Africa’s Sunshine Tour.

The South African star is tied with first-round leader Gregory Bourdy of France, who had a 65. Schwartzel won in Thailand last weekend, his first title since the 2011 Masters.


The Alfred Dunhill Championship host venue Leopard Creek Country Club is right next door to South Africa's famous Kruger National Park.

Schwartzel had six birdies and an eagle Friday at Leopard Creek Country Club, one of his favorite courses. He and Bourdy are at 13-under 131, four strokes ahead of South Africa's Darren Fichardt (68).

South Africa's Louis de Jager and England's Steve Webster are another stroke back.

Schwartzel could claim to be the most consistent player in golf right now. After finishes of fifth, third and second in the past month, he won the Thailand Golf Championship by 11 shots last Sunday against a field that included Bubba Watson, his successor as Masters champion this April, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia.

He was 25 under par there and is now already 13 under on a course where his record includes one win and four second places.

"It was there for the taking and luckily enough I took advantage early on," Schwartzel said after grabbing an eagle and six birdies and keeping a bogey off his card for the second day running. "I could have made a few more, but we can't get too greedy. All in all a very good round and I've put myself in a very good position."

Schwartzel is 73 under for his last 4 1/2 tournaments. And even after adding a 65 to his pacesetting 66, Bourdy did not underestimate the size of the task facing him over the weekend.

"Charl is a great player, one of the best in the world," the 30-year-old world number 184 said. "You have to do the job over four rounds and that is difficult. But I'm feeling great and I've played two good rounds."

After being overtaken when Schwartzel played his first 11 holes in 7 under, making his eagle at the 541-yard 18th, three-time European Tour winner Bourdy pitched in for an eagle 2 on the sixth and converted curling 25-foot birdie putts at the fifth and eighth.

Webster lost a playoff for the rain-shortened Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban last weekend, and the player who beat him there, Scotland's Scott Jamieson, is also going well again at 6 under.

World No. 5 Louis Oosthuizen climbed from 1 over to 5 under, but the 2010 British Open champion went in the lake at the last for a bogey 6 and 67.

One of the subplots of the week is George Coetzee's bid to stay in the world's top 50 and earn a Masters debut next April. Coetzee is 3 under, but Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, one of the players who could have denied him, crashed out on 10 over after an 80.