SA’s Justin Walters holds slender lead heading into weekend at UK Championship
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s Justin Walters ground out a gutsy one-under 71 to open up a one-shot lead on nine-under on day two of the ISPS Handa UK Championship at The Belfry, in England, on Friday.
The 39-year-old had carded a brilliant 64 on day one before heavy rain arrived resulting in a lengthy delay, and he maintained his three-shot lead when the first round was completed on Friday morning.
Frenchman Benjamin Herbert leads the chasing pack on eight-under, with England’s Paul Waring two behind on seven-under in third position.
Fellow SA players Bryce Easton and Dean Burmester are tied on four-under in a share for 11th. A further shot adrift in a tie for 15th are Wilco Nienaber and Garrick Higgo.
They say it is difficult to follow a very low round with another and so it proved on another rainy day at The Belfry. Walters bogeyed two of his first six holes, offset by a birdie at the third to go out in one-over.
He would have to wait until the 13th before his next birdie, but followed with another at the 15th which meant he came home in 34 in testing conditions, making an impressive par save on the last to cement his narrow advantage.
There were emotional scenes as Walters kept his card by finishing second at last season's Portugal Masters and he entered this week at 156th on the Race to Dubai Rankings, but that does not tell the whole story.
He has missed the cut by just a single shot in three of his last four events on the UK swing, but finally saw the pendulum swing his way in the English Midlands over the first two round in severely testing conditions.
African News Agency