McGrane seven off Coetzee's lead
Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland prepares to plays his second shot into the sixth green during the second round of the Tshwane Open at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate in Centurion, South Africa. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images
Golf: Ireland’s Damien McGrane improved to five under par with a 71 on the second day of the Tshwane Open before the threat of lightning suspended play, but the Meath man will tee off tomorrow seven shots off Charl Coetzee’s lead.
All bar one of the five-strong Irish challenge finished their rounds, with Darren Clarke the next in line despite dropping back to two under with a 73. Peter Lawrie and Michael Hoey both shot 72 to stay on one over and three over respectively, while David Higgins was level with the latter having been one over par through 17.
Coetzee struck a seven-under-par 65 to claim the clubhouse lead before the suspension.
The South African, who is bidding for his first professional win, topped the leaderboard on 12 under par, one stroke ahead of Chile's Mark Tullo and fellow countryman Dawie van der Walt, who has played 14 holes and will resume his second round tomorrow morning.
Peter Uihlein of the United States is fourth on 10 under while France’s Romain Wattel completes the top five another stroke back, although he also still has another hole to play to complete his second round.
The English trio of David Howell, Danny Willett and Richard Finch are tied for sixth place on eight under with three other players including overnight leader Darren Fichardt, while Graeme Storm is another two strokes back.
Coetzee did not drop a shot in today’s round on the Ernie Els-designed course, carding birdies on the second, third and eighth holes before four more on the back nine put him out in front.
“I enjoyed it,” he told europeantour.com. “I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. It’s always nice to play well and it goes both ways, the better you play, the more you enjoy it. I hit the ball nicely and hit a lot of fairways. I also made a lot of greens and made a lot of putts, and that was the key.
“There’s a lot of golf left. I felt like I’ve started playing better over the last few weeks.”
Tullo, who finished his round just before the bad weather klaxon stopped play, is relishing his strong position at the end of day two.
He said: “I played very well again. I played well from tee to green, putted well and all around I played very consistently. I’m very happy that I produced such a solid round.
“That siren sounded just after we finished, and that’s the best thing that can happen to you. To come back here early in the morning is not what you want to do. The tournament starts on the Sunday back nine, and a long as I’m in the hunt
come Sunday I’ll be happy.”
The second round of the tournament will resume at the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate.at 6.45am tomorrow morning.