Jamie racing ahead at Nedbank Golf Challenge

Jamie Donaldson fired a six-under-par 66 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player Country Club.


“A solid day. I played really well, obviously a lot of iron shots quite close which enabled me to make a few putts.  The greens are not big here, so if you can get it near the flag you are never too far away,” he said.


In the morning, the Welshman had six holes left to complete his first round, which was put on hold when thunderstorms forced an overnight suspension in play. He jumped straight back into action with a birdie at the 13th and followed it with another birdie at the 14th before signing for 67.


He brought that confidence straight into his second round and took the lead after carding birdies at the first, second and fourth. The hot start gave Donaldson plenty of momentum and he rode that wave, making further birdies at the eighth and ninth to turn in 31.


“I just kept hitting the shots hole by hole, but I did play aggressively,” he said.


His first bogey of the tournament came at the 10th, but it did little to offset the world number 29’s charge. He pared his way through the 11th and 12th before resuming the scoring with gains at the 13th and 14th. He played his way in with four pars to take the halfway lead on 11-under-par.


Henrik Stenson carded a bogey-free 67 to join Ryan Moore in a share of second on eight-under-par. The Swede and American will head up the chase going into the weekend.


“We have another two days to go,” said Stenson. “I love to come here and this place has been very good to me so I just need to use all of that positive stuff to help me keep going and to try and keep making the birdies so that I can try to win on Sunday. I made just one bogey in the two rounds so that is a good sign.”


Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge worked his way around Gary Player Country Club in 68 shots for a share of sixth place alongside Charl Schwartzel and DA Points.


“I don’t think this course is easy, but if you play well you’ll be rewarded,” said De Jonge. “I’ve had a fairly good game plan for the first two days and hopefully I’ll keep to it.”


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