Schwartzel turns it on at Leopard Creek

Charl Schwartzel carded an eight-under-par 64 on Friday to move into an early share of the halfway lead with Gregory Bourdy of France in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club.

Bourdy, who led after the first round by one from Schwartzel and five other players, had an impressive seven-under-par 65 himself as the pair drew clear of the chasing pack at 13-under ahead of the cut.

“It was there for the taking and luckily enough I took advantage early on,” said Schwartzel of his round which started on the 10th of the 6,671-metre (7,295-yard) Leopard Creek layout.

“I made a couple around the turn and could have been a few more there, but we can’t get too greedy. All in all a very good round and I’ve put myself in a very good position to compete,” he added.

That was somewhat understated: He made four birdies and an eagle from the 15th to the second, picking up six strokes on par in as six holes. That was his most concentrated period of scoring. He made his first birdie on 11, and his final one on the fifth.

He’s in extraordinary form right now: In his last three-and-a-half tournaments (252 holes), Schwartzel has only made 14 bogeys and is a total of 62 under par.

Bourdy was only too aware of the magnitude of the task facing him after his round: “It’s going to be an exciting weekend. Charl is a great player, one of the best in the world. In South Africa it’s always nice to play with some of the top players in the world on Saturday and Sunday. I like these guys, so it should be a great time,” he said.

The nearest challenger to the Schwartzel-Bourdy birdie show was Darren Fichardt, who carded a four-under-par 68 to get to nine-under for the tournament, and the next-best player after him was Germany’s Maximilian Kiefer whose three-under 69 moved him to seven-under for the tournament.

“Let’s hope they had their best day today!” said Fichardt of the leaders. “I’m just going to go out and play my game and see what happens. I don’t want to push it too hard because I’m happy with nine-under-par; what I’m doing already seems to be working pretty well – just hitting fairways and greens – so I’ll be looking for more of the same.”

And, besides the great rounds of Schwartzel and Bourdy, the best round of the morning came from Anton Haig, who carded a six-under-par 66 to climb to five-under for the tournament.

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