Zander Lombard overcomes poor start to take halfway lead at Sun City
Louis Oosthuizen battles kidney stones to remain in contention at ‘Africa’s Major’
Zander Lombard of South Africa shot a best-of-the-day second round of 65 to take the halfway lead at the Nedbank Challenge in Sun City. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images.
South African Zander Lombard overcame a poor start to surge into a two-shot lead after the second round of the European Tour’s Nedbank Challenge, sinking six birdies and an eagle in a round of 65 at the Gary Player Country Club on Friday.
Lombard is 11 under-par for the tournament, ahead of compatriot Louis Oosthuizen, who could not repeat his heroics of the opening round when he shot a superb 63, as he carded a par score of 72.
Lombard started with a dropped shot on the first hole but quickly recovered with a birdie on the par-five second, but his round truly ignited on the back nine when he carded an eagle on the par-five 10th and added three more birdies on his way back to the clubhouse.
It was comfortably the best round of the day, with no other player in the field managing less than a 69.
“It was all positives and I really enjoyed it today,” said Lombard. “We were just fighting for a birdie every hole, not looking at the leaderboard or figuring out if we were going to just make par. I was being aggressive and being positive and it went my way today.”
Oosthuizen, seeking his maiden title in the tournament regarded as ‘Africa’s Major’, had looked so accomplished in his first round despite battling kidney stones that almost forced him out of the tournament. The up and down nature of his second round was illustrated between the 13th and 16th holes when he went birdie-bogey-bogey-birdie.
Oosthuizen admitted feeling the effects of the kidney stones. He said “(I was) definitely more fatigued today, especially the last six, seven holes. The tee shot on the 14th, I hit it on the right side. I think it was more muscle-related than anything else.
“The stones have passed, I just need to get some rest and play good tomorrow.”
Belgian Thomas Detry looked as though he would have a share of the lead until a bogey on the 15th was followed by three more dropped shots on his last two holes to finish with a 71 and a tournament total of seven under-par for third position.
The lightning-quick greens and more challenging pin placements meant there were not as many low scores as seen in the first round and a number of players struggled to find consistency.
Former Open champion and home favourite Ernie Els followed up his solid opening 68 with a disastrous 81 that included two triple-bogeys on the par-four fifth and 17th.
The Nedbank Challenge is the penultimate tournament in the 2019 Race to Dubai, whose leader, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, carded 69 on Friday for a tournament total of four under-par and a share of ninth position.
Padraig Harrington added a level par 72 to his opening 71 to trail by 10 shots at the halfway stage.
NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE
At Sun City, South Africa, British unless stated, par 72:
133 Zander Lombard (Rsa) 68 65
135 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 63 72
137 Thomas Detry (Bel) 66 71
138 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 69 69, Tommy Fleetwood 69 69
139 Joachim B Hansen (Den) 69 70, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 69 70, Aaron Rai 70 69
140 Paul Waring 69 71, Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 67 73, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 70, Nacho Elvira (Esp) 70 70, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 71 69, Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 70 70, Matthew Fitzpatrick 71 69
141 Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 69 72, Oliver Wilson 69 72, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 69 72, Lee Westwood 68 73
142 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 70 72, Alex Noren (Swe) 73 69, Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 70, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 70 72, George Coetzee (Rsa) 69 73
143 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 72 71, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 72 71, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 70 73, Pádraig Harrington (Ire) 71 72
144 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 74, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 74 70, Tom Lewis 71 73, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 74 70, Gavin Green (Mal) 74 70, Scott Jamieson 73 71
145 Ian Poulter 74 71, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 72 73, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 72 73, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 74 71
146 David Lipsky (USA) 72 74
147 Adri Arnaus (Spa) 74 73, Matt Wallace 73 74, Jordan Smith 73 74, Romain Langasque (Fra) 73 74, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 72 75
148 Steven Brown 73 75, Andy Sullivan 75 73, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 73 75, Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 76 72, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 69 79
149 Haotong Li (Chn) 73 76, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 76 73, Ernie Els (Rsa) 68 81, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 74 75, Branden Grace (Rsa) 74 75, Robert Macintyre 73 76, Chris Paisley 75 74, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 73 76
150 Scott Hend (Aus) 77 73, Richie Ramsay 72 78
151 Justin Harding (Rsa) 73 78, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 77 74, Matthew Southgate 72 79
156 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 81 75