Justin rides roller-coaster to lead in Swaziland

Justin Harding felt as if he was riding a roller-coaster on Saturday as he carded a four-under-par 68 to take the clubhouse lead in the second round of the R850,000 Lombard Insurance Classic.

He reached the 36-hole mark on the 6,140-metre Royal Swazi Spa golf course in a total of 12-under-par, a two stroke advantage over Louis de Jager and Merrick Bremner, who had equally uneven rounds for their two-under-par 70s.

Harding’s 68 included three eagles, two birdies and four bogeys. Unfortunately for him, three of those bogeys came in succession around the turn.

And none was more unfortunate than on the 10th, where he approach caught the lip of the cup and ended up three feet past the hole. “My birdie putt lipped out and ended up about four feet away again, and I ended up three-putting after nearly making eagle,” he said.

He was able to compensate for the poor putting which has been plaguing his golf for most of the year with his three eagles. “I am hitting the ball really well at the moment, and I didn’t have more than 15 feet left for eagle on any of the three I got,” he said.

He was long off the tee too, taking an eight-iron in on the 502-metre 17th, and nine on the 444-metre seventh and 461-metre 12th.

De Jager’s round had six birdies in it, but it was punctuated with a double-bogey and two bogeys. Bremner also had six birdies and spoiled that haul with four bogeys.

Andrew Curlewis had the best round of the morning with his six-under-par 66, but even he was somewhat disgruntled. “Three eagles and a load of rubbish,” he said. The load was two birdies and two bogeys as he finished on nine-under for 36 holes, three off Harding’s pace.

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