Pablo Larrazabal burns off the field to lead by three in South Africa

Jonathan Caldwell cards 69 to make the cut as players deal with extreme heat at Leopard Creek

Oliver Wilson  and Eddie Pepperell shield themselves from the sun with umbrellas as they walk down the second fairway during the second round of the  Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek  Golf Club  in Malelane, South Africa. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Oliver Wilson and Eddie Pepperell shield themselves from the sun with umbrellas as they walk down the second fairway during the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Golf Club in Malelane, South Africa. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

 

Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal felt his patience was rewarded after claiming the halfway lead in testing conditions at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

Larrazabal was one of just five players in the 156-man field to break 70 at Leopard Creek, a 69 leaving the 36-year-old on nine under par, three shots ahead of home favourite Branden Grace and overnight leader Wil Besseling.

Bangor’s Jonathan Caldwell also dipped under 70, his bogey-free three-under 69 leaving the Q-School graduate in a tie for 14th position

“It was a good job,” said Larrazabal, who again declined the option to play in shorts due to the extreme heat.

“It wasn’t an easy day, the wind was swirling around and gusting so on this golf course, as tight as the targets are, it was tough.

“We’re used to the heat and the wind helped to control the heat a little bit. The golf course wasn’t playing easy. To take the right club today was very tricky and the greens are drying.”

Wil Besseling of the Netherlands feels the heat as temperatues rose to 40 degrees during the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Golf Club in Malelane, South Africa. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Wil Besseling of the Netherlands feels the heat as temperatues rose to 40 degrees during the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Golf Club in Malelane, South Africa. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Seeking a fifth European Tour title and a first since 2015, Larrazabal double bogeyed the par-three seventh after hitting his tee shot into the water, but started the back nine with four-straight birdies, including from 80 feet on the 12th.

“I did a big mistake on the seventh, I didn’t trust what my gameplan was and made a double bogey, but I thought I’m playing well enough to start making birdies again so that’s what I did,” Larrazabal added.

“I had a lot of patience out there. I know I am playing good, I know I am playing aggressive enough to make birdies and get in a run and if I am patient, the putts are going to drop.”

England’s Marcus Armitage, who regained his playing rights via the qualifying school recently, is five shots off the lead after a second-consecutive 70 left him four under par alongside compatriot Jack Singh Brar and South Africa’s Thomas Aiken.

Scotland’s David Drysdale and Grant Forrest, who began the day three shots off the lead, struggled to rounds of 77 and 79 respectively but made the halfway cut which fell at three over par.

Downpatrick’s Cormac Sharvin missed the cut after a one-over 73 left him on nine over after his opening round of 80 on Thursday.

LEADERBOARD

Leopard Creek GC, South Africa. British and Irish unless stated, par 72, (a) denotes amateurs

135 Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 66 69

138 Wil Besseling (Ned) 65 73, Branden Grace (Rsa) 68 70

140 Marcus Armitage 70 70, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 68 72, Jack Singh Brar 68 72

141 Garrick Porteous 66 75, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 74 67, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 69 72, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 69 72

142 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 70 72, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 72 70, Rasmus Hojgaard (a) (Den) 72 70

143 Alex Haindl (Rsa) 71 72, Jonathan Caldwell 74 69, Justin Harding (Rsa) 70 73, (a) Dylan Naidoo (Rsa) 71 72, JC Ritchie (Rsa) 72 71, Matthew Jordan 69 74, Toby Tree 70 73, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 71 72, Jack Harrison 71 72, James Morrison 72 71, Robin Roussel (Fra) 68 75, MJ Viljoen (Rsa) 72 71, Daniel Van Tonder (Rsa) 68 75, Johannes Veerman (USA) 72 71

144 Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 73 71, Jaco Ahlers (Rsa) 72 72, Martin Rohwer (Rsa) 69 75, George Coetzee (Rsa) 73 71, Lars Van Meijel (Ned) 74 70, Adrien Saddier (Fra) 71 73, Laurie Canter 71 73, Joel Sjoholm (Swe) 70 74, Oliver Bekker (Rsa) 73 71, Alejandro Canizares (Esp) 67 77, Connor Syme 69 75, Eddie Pepperell 71 73, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 74 70, Gregory Havret (Fra) 72 72, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 70 74

145 Adrian Meronk (Pol) 69 76, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 72 73, Benjamin Poke (Den) 73 72, Carlos Pigem (Esp) 74 71, Renato Paratore (Ita) 74 71, David Drysdale 68 77, Christiaan Basson (Rsa) 71 74, Daniel Greene (Rsa) 72 73, Thriston Lawrence (Rsa) 77 68, Keith Horne (Rsa) 66 79, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 72 73

146 Jacques Blaauw (Rsa) 73 73, Hennie Otto (Rsa) 78 68, Adilson Da Silva (Bra) 70 76, Oliver Wilson 73 73, Jayden Trey Schaper (Rsa) 73 73, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 72 74, Calum Hill 73 73

147 David Law 72 75, Richard Bland 76 71, Ross Fisher 74 73, Clement Sordet (Fra) 72 75, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 72 75, Keenan Davidse (Rsa) 76 71, Grant Forrest 68 79, Lee Slattery 72 75, Jeff Winther (Den) 75 72, Ernie Els (Rsa) 74 73, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 74 73

MISSED CUT

148 Francesco Laporta (Ita) 71 77, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Esp) 78 70, Pieter Moolman (Rsa) 75 73, Ben Stow 77 71, Hennie Du Plessis (Rsa) 71 77, Jake McLeod (Aus) 74 74, Peter Karmis (Rsa) 74 74, Justin Walters (Rsa) 76 72, Aaron Cockerill (Can) 72 76, Mark Williams (Zim) 72 76

149 Jose-Filipe Lima (Por) 72 77, Jake Redman (Rsa) 73 76, (a) Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 72 77, Richard McEvoy 75 74, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 74 75, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 75 74, Madalitso Muthiya (Zam) 75 74, Jean Hugo (Rsa) 73 76

150 Ockie Strydom (Rsa) 78 72, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 74 76, Deon Germishuys (a) (Rsa) 71 79, Rhys Enoch 69 81, Marcel Siem (Ger) 75 75, Jaco Prinsloo (Rsa) 77 73, Jean-Paul Strydom (Rsa) 76 74, Robin Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 77 73

151 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 72 79, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 73 78, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 78 73, Doug McGuigan 72 79, Steve Surry 73 78, Oliver Farr 76 75

152 Rupert Kaminski (Rsa) 77 75, Merrick Bremner (Rsa) 76 76, Hugo Leon (Chi) 77 75, Lyle Rowe (Rsa) 80 72, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 76 76, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 74 78, Stephen Ferreira (Por) 74 78, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 75 77

153 Cormac Sharvin 80 73, Jacques P Ger Villiers (Rsa) 73 80, Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez (Esp) 75 78, Callum Mowat (Rsa) 74 79, Matias Calderon (Chi) 75 78, Oliver Fisher 73 80, James Du Preez (a) (Rsa) 72 81, Dale Whitnell 78 75, Darius Van Driel (Ned) 76 77, Sami Valimaki (Fin) 77 76, Trevor Fisher Jnr (Rsa) 75 78, Ruan Conradie (Rsa) 70 83

154 Michael G Palmer (Rsa) 80 74, Combrinck Smit (Rsa) 79 75, Neil Schietekat (Rsa) 74 80, Tyrone Ryan (Rsa) 79 75, Kyle Barker (Rsa) 77 77, Caylum Boon (Rsa) 83 71

155 Keelan Van Wyk (Rsa) 79 76, Toto Thimba Jnr (Rsa) 76 79, Heinrich Bruiners (Rsa) 76 79, Jake Roos (Rsa) 76 79, Clinton Grobler (Rsa) 78 77, Ruan Ger Smidt (Rsa) 75 80, Tyrone Ferreira (Rsa) 77 78, Luke Jerling (Rsa) 77 78, Basil Wright (Rsa) 75 80, Ricardo Santos (Por) 79 76, Vaughn Groenewald (Rsa) 71 84

156 Anton Haig (Rsa) 78 78, Riekus Nortje (Rsa) 78 78, Garth Mulroy (Rsa) 79 77

157 Teaghan Gauche (Rsa) 84 73, Jack Senior 80 77

158 Yubin Jung (Rsa) 80 78, JJ Senekal (Rsa) 78 80, Philip Eriksson (Swe) 77 81

159 Chris Swanepoel (Rsa) 78 81

160 Benjamin Follet-Smith (Zim) 78 82, Dylan Kok (Rsa) 80 80

162 Anthony Michael (Rsa) 83 79, Jacquin Hess (Rsa) 80 82

165 Andre Ger Decker (Rsa) 86 79

167 Rourke Van Der Spuy (Rsa) 85 82

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