Charl Schwartzel places his ball on the green during a superb second-round 63 at the SA Open on Friday. Photo: Catherine Kotze/EPA

JOHANNESBURG – Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel grabbed a one-stroke lead at the midway point of the second round of the SA Open at Randpark on Friday, after recording a bogey-free 63 on the Bushwillow course.

He made six birdies to go with an eagle to be at 12-under-par after two rounds, and one stroke better than Zambia’s Madalitso Muthiya, who fired an impressive three-under-par 68 on the more challenging Firethorn course.

Schwartzel opened with a four-under-par 67 on Firethorn on Thursday, while Muthiya recorded a 63 on Bushwillow in the first round.

Sitting in third place on 10-under-par was the USA’s Kurt Kitayama after he registered a two-under-par-69 to go with his opening score of 63 on Bushwillow on Thursday.

First-round leader Louis Oosthuizen slipped back for a tie for seventh after starting with a bogey-five on the first hole on the Firethorn course, before steadying with four pars in a row.

All 240 players each play a round on Bushwillow and Firethorn before Friday evening’s cut, after which the final two rounds will only be played on Firethorn.

Schwartzel is seeking a first SA Open title after twice being a runner-up.

Friday’s second round is due to be completed around 6pm.


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