14th December 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Lipsky holds halfway lead at Leopard Creek
David Lipsky of the United States fired a blemish-free six-under-par 66 on Friday to move into a slender one-stroke lead after the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship being played at Leopard Creek.
He took advantage of an early tee time and some overcast conditions to carve out his slim edge over Scots Scott Jamieson and Marc Warren, with two more Scots Doug McGuigan and David Drysdale a further shot back on six-under-par at the halfway mark.
“I played really well,” said Lipsky. “I actually didn’t hit it that great today but my putting and chipping was amazing. I got the job done.”
It’s Lipsky’s first visit to Leopard Creek, and he found himself wondering why he hadn’t come before. “I’ve never been here,” he said. “I’ve heard great things from almost every player, pretty much. And it’s turned out to be a great week so far and I’ve really enjoyed the scenery.”
His previous visits to South African have been for the Nedbank Golf Challenge, and his game has taken a step up since those performances. “M distance off the tee has improved,” he said, “and that’s down to a combination of things – the strength coach I have been working with and a new swing coach as well. I’ve been really retuning my game and it looks like it’s paying off.”
Jamieson matched Lipsky’s 66, but his round included a bogey on the second. “The back nine is the side you’ve got to make your score on,” he said. “The front nine out here is tough. The holes are a lot longer and there’s a little bit of water around the par-five, the second hole. It’s a bit tougher par-five than any of the ones on the back.”
McGuigan came scorching home in 30 on the back nine after turning in one-over. “I had nine one-putts on the back nine,” he said after signing for his 66. “I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.”
Warren didn’t take full advantage of the par-fives in his round of 67. “Most of my scoring has been done on the par-threes and par-fours,” he said. “I haven’t played the par-fives particularly well so maybe we’ll try to look to play those better over the weekend.”
Drysdale looked as if he might drop too many shots to be in contention at the halfway mark, but he finished with a birdie for his three-under 69. “I had a lot of chances around that back nine,” he said, “but I just felt like the greens were a bit slower today, because it was windy yesterday, and I just battled with the pace, but it’s nice to finish off with a birdie on the last.”
Behind the Scots were six players on five-under, including the 2016 champion Brandon Stone, fellow South Africans Darren Fichardt, Dylan Frittelli, and Oliver Bekker, England’s Oliver Wilson and Australian Dimitrios Papadatos.
For Lipsky, it will be all about more of the same over the weekend as he attempts to hold off the chasing pack. “Tomorrow, I do the same things I’ve been doing all week and try not to change things up,” he said. “I’ll take the eight-under for the weekend.”