Four Scots within striking distance at Alfred Dunhill Championship
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 15/12/18 11:58pm
Scott Jamieson and Marc Warren led a four-pronged Scottish challenge at the halfway stage of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.
American David Lipsky grabbed the 36-hole lead on eight under after he added a bogey-free 66 to his opening 70, but the next four places on the leaderboard were occupied by Scots.
Jamieson and Warren head into the weekend just one stroke adrift of Lipsky, while David Drysdale and Doug McGuigan are well-placed on six under with resurgent Englishman Oliver Wilson three off the pace.
Lipsky, whose one European Tour triumph came at the Omega European Masters over four years ago, made four birdies and an eagle at the 13th as he completed 36 holes with just one bogey on his scorecard.
But, with birdies easier to come by after Thursday's tough scoring conditions, Jamieson and Warren led the chasing pack as they put together confident rounds of 66 and 67 respectively.
Jamieson charged up the leaderboard when he carded five birdies in six holes to complete a back-nine 32 and, after a mistake at the long second, he picked up further shots at the third and the sixth to close on seven under.
He was soon joined by compatriot Warren, who had to go through Qualifying School to retain his playing rights for 2019, and the three-time European Tour winner mixed seven birdies with a pair of bogeys to earn a share of second place.
Drysdale returned a second-straight steady 69 to move to six under alongside McGuigan, who produced the performance of the day on the back nine as he made seven birdies in a remarkable recovery from being two over after seven holes and in danger of missing the cut.
Former Ryder Cup star Wilson continued his good form with a five-birdie 69 that lifted him to five under along with overnight leader Oliver Bekker, who followed up his opening 66 with an error-strewn 73.
Fan favourite Ernie Els delighted the locals with a flawless 67, including a run of five birdies in seven holes, as he moved smoothly to four under with last week's South African Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who responded to a back-nine blip with birdies at the last two holes to salvage a 69.
But there was a surprise early exit for Charl Schwartzel, a four-time winner of this event, as he bogeyed his final two holes to sign for a disappointing 74 which was one too many to make the halfway cut.