Drysdale out in front as lightning halts Jo'burg Open

Briton David Drysdale claimed the outright lead in the Jo’burg Open, before lightning sent the golfers from the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Course midway through the second round on Friday.

Scotland’s Drysdale built on his spectacular birdie-eagle finish to the first round as he went out in 32 strokes on Friday and then parred his way home, apart from a birdie on the par-five 15th, to finish with a 66 that lifted him to 11-under overall for the co-sanctioned European Tour/Sunshine Tour event.

South Africa’s Oliver Bekker, who fired seven birdies in a 65, and Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey were a stroke back on 10-under-par.

Hoey, who shot a 64 on the tougher East Course in the first round, can claim the outright lead if he can pick up two birdies on either the par-three 16th or par-four 17th and 18th holes of the West Course when play resumes.

Another Scotsman, Alan McLean, was busy compiling the round of the day and was seven-under with five holes to play, having just aced the 189-metre 13th hole on the West Course.

England’s former world number one amateur Danny Willett moved into a tie for fourth place with a five-under-par 66, with 2007 Jo’burg Open runner-up Andrew McLardy alongside him on nine-under overall.

Of the big names in the field, defending champion Richard Sterne, ranked 43 in the world and third in the Race to Dubai, made a move with a 66 that saw him sneak into the top 20 on five-under-par.

Retief Goosen, the 2001 and 2004 United States Open champion, eagled the 15th hole as his score peaked on six-under-par, but he then double-bogeyed the last hole on the West Course to drop back to four-under overall.

Joint overnight leader Trevor Fisher junior was going rapidly down the leaderboard as five bogeys and a double-bogey on the East Course saw him collapse to two-under overall, while Sweden’s Steven Jeppesen started with a double-bogey and then had five bogeys and two birdies to slip to three-under. - Reuters

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