South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel shot a second-round 64 Friday to surge into a share of the lead on day two at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
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The former Masters champion, who ended a long title drought by winning in Thailand last weekend, had six birdies and an eagle in his 8-unde-par round to go 13 under par and level with overnight leader Gregory Bourdy at the halfway stage.
Frenchman Bourdy had a 7-under 65 for a two-round total of 131 at the second event of the new European Tour season.
The pair leads by four shots over South African Darren Fichardt (68) heading to the weekend at Leopard Creek Country Club.
Another South African, Louis de Jager, and Englishman Steve Webster were another stroke back on 8 under in a tie for fourth.
Schwartzel’s dominant 11-shot victory in Thailand was his first title since the 2011 Masters. He continued his impressive form with the lowest round so far at the Alfred Dunhill to be in contention for a second tournament win in a week after going nearly two years without a victory and struggling through most of 2012 with a chest injury.
”With the (Thailand) win, you do build up a bit of confidence, but I don’t want to expect anything,” Schwartzel said. ”It was a nice win last week, just to break the ice after winning the Masters. It’s such a big thing and everyone always talks about, ‘When are you going to win again?’ ”
Starting on No. 10, Schwartzel had three birdies and an eagle three on the par-5 No. 18. He carded another three birdies on his back nine and went a second straight round without a bogey to join Bourdy at the top of the leaderboard.
Bourdy also had an eagle, but dropped his first shot of the tournament at No. 3 — his 12th hole of the day after he teed off on the back nine. Fichardt was alone in third after four birdies in his 4-under 68.
Scotland’s Scott Jamieson, who won his maiden Euro Tour title at the tour’s season-opening Nelson Mandela Championship — also in South Africa — last weekend, shot a 68 to move 6 under and a tie for eighth with South African Tyrone van Aswegen and Englishman Richard Finch.
Ahead of them, Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer and England’s Robert Rock share sixth at 7 under par.