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.
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.