Pablo Larrazabal will go into the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship atop the leaderboard. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

MALELANE – Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal will go into the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship perched atop the leaderboard after another solid round of golf on Friday's Day 2 of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

He backed up his opening 66 with a three-under-par 69 in tough conditions as the wind began to swirl in the afternoon, making every shot a challenge to be taken very seriously.

“It wasn’t an easy day,” said Larrazabal, “the wind was swirling around and gusting, and you know in this golf course because it’s tight, the targets are tough. But I am happy with the 69.”

On what it takes to put together a solid round at this testing track, Larrazabal said patience is key but a little bit of an aggressive approach helps: “I am playing aggressive enough to make birdies and to get in a run. If you have patience out there, the putts are always going to drop.”

In an eventful round on a hot Friday afternoon, Larrazabal opened with a birdie but after five pars, he made a double-bogey on the par-three seventh hole. Having turned in 36 and with Branden Grace and overnight leader Wil Besseling chasing hard, he had to turn things up, coming homewards.

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Four birdies one after the other from the 10th put him back on top before a bogey on 14 threatened to derail his progress but he bounced back with a birdie on the par-five 15th to sign for a 69 to total nine-under-par and lead by three going into the weekend.

Grace carded a two-under 70 which took his total to six-under for the week, a total he shares with Besseling after the Dutchman carded a one-over-par 73 round.

“It was definitely a grind out there,” admitted Grace who won this event back in 2014. “I think there was a little bit more wind than yesterday and I’m not sure the guys in the afternoon yesterday had it, but it was tricky out there today. You couldn’t really go for pins as much as you would have liked but I played really well.”

Marcus Armitage, Thomas Aiken and Jack Singh Brar of England share fourth on four-under-par for the tournament.

Round 2 scores:

135 - Pablo Larrazabal 66 69
138 - Branden Grace 68 70, Wil Besseling 65 73
140 - Marcus Armitage 70 70, Thomas Aiken 68 72, Jack Singh Brar 68 72
141 - Adrian Otaegui 69 72, Antoine Rozner 74 67, Garrick Porteous 66 75, Jaco Van Zyl 69 72
142 - Rasmus Hojgaard 72 70, Zander Lombard 72 70, Charl Schwartzel 70 72
143 - Dylan Naidoo 71 72, Matthieu Pavon 71 72, Matthew Jordan 69 74, Jack Harrison 71 72, Justin Harding 70 73, James Morrison 72 71, Toby Tree 70 73, Jonathan Caldwell 74 69, Daniel van Tonder 68 75, MJ Viljoen 72 71, Robin Roussel 68 75, JC Ritchie 72 71, Johannes Veerman 72 71, Alex Haindl 71 72
144 - Lars van Meijel 74 70, Oliver Bekker 73 71, Gregory Havret 72 72, Connor Syme 69 75, George Coetzee 73 71, Richard Sterne 70 74, Jaco Ahlers 72 72, Adrien Saddier 71 73, Haydn Porteous 73 71, Joel Sjoholm 70 74, Alejandro Canizares 67 77, Eddie Pepperell 71 73, Laurie Canter 71 73, Lorenzo Gagli 74 70, Martin Rohwer 69 75
145 - Renato Paratore 74 71, Benjamin Poke 73 72, Thriston Lawrence 77 68, Keith Horne 66 79, Carlos Pigem 74 71, Christiaan Basson 71 74, Niklas Lemke 72 73, Daniel Greene 72 73, David Drysdale 68 77, Wilco Nienaber 72 73, Adrian Meronk 69 76
146 - Adilson Da Silva 70 76, Hennie Otto 78 68, Pedro Figueiredo 72 74, Calum Hill 73 73, Jacques Blaauw 73 73, Oliver Wilson 73 73, Jayden Schaper 73 73
147 - Keenan Davidse 76 71, Ross Fisher 74 73, Ernie Els 74 73, Edoardo Molinari 74 73, Brandon Stone 72 75, Richard Bland 76 71, Clement Sordet 72 75, Jeff Winther 75 72, David Law 72 75, Lee Slattery 72 75, Grant Forrest 68 79

Missed the cut:

148 - Ben Stow 77 71, Justin Walters 76 72, Peter Karmis 74 74, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano 78 70, Mark Williams 72 76, Pieter Moolman 75 73, Jake Mcleod 74 74, Hennie du Plessis 71 77, Francesco Laporta 71 77, Aaron Cockerill 72 76
149 - Jose-Filipe Lima 72 77, Richard Mcevoy 75 74, Madalitso Muthiya 75 74, Julien Guerrier 74 75, Garrick Higgo 72 77, Louis de Jager 75 74, Jake Redman 73 76, Jean Hugo 73 76
150 - Deon Germishuys 71 79, Robin Sciot-Siegrist 77 73, Ockie Strydom 78 72, Thomas Bjorn 74 76, Marcel Siem 75 75, Jean-Paul Strydom 76 74, Rhys Enoch 69 81, Jaco Prinsloo 77 73
151 - Dean Burmester 73 78, Soren Kjeldsen 72 79, Doug McGuigan 72 79, Oliver Farr 76 75, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 78 73, Steve Surry 73 78
152 - Darren Fichardt 75 77, Alexander Bjork 76 76, Merrick Bremner 76 76, Rupert Kaminski 77 75, Lyle Rowe 80 72, Hugo Leon 77 75, Bryce Easton 74 78, Stephen Ferreira 74 78
153 - Jacques P de Villiers 73 80, Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez 75 78, Oliver Fisher 73 80, Darius van Driel 76 77, Callum Mowat 74 79, Sami Valimaki 77 76, Ruan Conradie 70 83, Matias Calderon 75 78, Trevor Fisher Jnr 75 78, Dale Whitnell 78 75, Cormac Sharvin 80 73, James Hart du Preez 72 81
154 - Caylum Boon 83 71, Michael Palmer 80 74, Kyle Barker 77 77, Tyrone Ryan 79 75, Neil Schietekat 74 80, Combrinck Smit 79 75
155 - Basil Wright 75 80, Clinton Grobler 78 77, Keelan van Wyk 79 76, Jake Roos 76 79, Ricardo Santos 79 76, Toto Thimba 76 79, Ruan de Smidt 75 80, Vaughn Groenewald 71 84, Tyrone Ferreira 77 78, Heinrich Bruiners 76 79, Luke Jerling 77 78
156 - Riekus Nortje 78 78, Anton Haig 78 78, Garth Mulroy 79 77
157 - Jack Senior 80 77, Teaghan Gauche 84 73
158 - Philip Eriksson 77 81, JJ Senekal 78 80, Yubin Jung 80 78
159 - Chris Swanepoel 78 81
160 - Benjamin Follett-Smith 78 82, Dylan Kok 80 80
162 - Jacquin Hess 80 82, Anthony Michael 83 79
165 - Andre De Decker 86 79
167 - Rourke van der Spuy 85 82
RTD - David Howell 78 

African News Agency (ANA)