Merrick and the Swedes lead

Merrick Bremner doesn’t have too many words for his two Swedish playing partners, so he’ll let his clubs do the talking when the leading three-ball goes out for round three of the South African Open.

“My Swedish in not very good. I see I’ve got two of them this afternoon, but that’ll be good fun. I met Henrik (Stenson) a couple of years ago at Pearl Valley. I hope he remembers me, because I certainly remember him. Magnus (Carlsson) I’ve never played with before. I’ve never even met him, but it’ll be good fun I’m sure,” he said.

The big-hitter from Cullinan will meet his match in Stenson, who is notoriously long off the tee. The Swede spent much of 2011 avoiding his driver and instead choosing three-wood, and in a strange twist Bremner did something similar on Friday.

“I stopped hitting driver on the back nine, because I hit a few poor shots early on,” said Bremner. “I just need to hit some fairways and greens and give chances for birdies.”

It’s been an exciting few days for Bremner, who started the 102-year-old tournament with a course-record 64. An early double in his second round meant he had to salvage from the get-go, but he kept his focus and turned at one-under.

“Things change – I had a double early on in my round yesterday and I missed a couple of early opportunities for birdies. I just regrouped and made a couple of birdies before the turn, and then just kept playing.

That mental strength was once again called upon when dangerous weather caused a delay in play, which forced the 26-year-old to defer his final four holes until Saturday morning.

“It was the completion of a round, so you’ve got to keep the same focus up as you did yesterday or the day before that. You can’t let it slip for one second – if you do you can make a double quickly. You’ve got to keep the focus up and come and do your best,” he said.

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