Rock grabs Joburg Open lead before storms halt play second straight day

robert rock
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Second-day leader Robert Rock posted an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys in his round on 67 on Friday.
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Friday, January 13, 2012 | 11:51 a.m.

Englishman Robert Rock beat the weather Friday to take the second-round lead at the Joburg Open. The 34-year-old, chasing a second career win, shot a second-round 67 to hit the front just moments before a thunderstorm forced play to be abandoned for the day. The tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and southern Africa’s Sunshine Tour.

Only about a quarter of the field finished their second rounds, with several players not even teeing off. Play is scheduled to resume at 6:45 a.m. local time on Saturday.

Rock, who played the easier West Course, is 11 under par for the tournament after posting an eagle and four birdies, with his only blemishes being bogeys on the eighth and 12th holes at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

He signed his card a shot clear of South Africans Jbe Kruger and Branden Grace, who both went round the West in 66, adding to their 67s on Thursday.

Another South African, Michiel Bothma, is a shot further back on 9 under, as is another in George Coetzee. He could prove to be the best-placed, though, with his second round interrupted after just six holes.

Scotland's Scott Jamieson checked into the clubhouse with a 4-under 67 leaving him three shots behind, while England's Jamie Elson, one of the leaders after the first round, was unable to start his round at all.

Ireland's Damien McGrane, who shared that lead with Elson, was 1 over after three, dropping down to 7 under, the same score as Scotland's David Drysdale who was 1 under for the day at the turn when the heavens opened.

Defending champion Charl Schwartzel, 3 under through 36 holes and tied for 56th, will have to wait until after all the second rounds have been completed on Saturday morning to see if he has made the cut. Two-time major winner Retief Goosen is tied for ninth at 7 undre through six holes of his second round, while former PGA Champion Rich Beem is 2 over through 36 holes and tied for 116th place.