Posted November 30, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Paul Lawrie has a chance at an ideal end to a strong comeback year after the Scot's 3-under 69 gave him the halfway lead at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City on Friday.
Lawrie had just one bogey on another tough day for players on the challenging Gary Player Country Club course and made four birdies for a 4-under-par total of 140.
A major champion over a decade ago, Lawrie had a one-shot lead over Ryder Cup teammate Martin Kaymer heading to the weekend and a chance at a third win this year. They were the only players to break 70 in the second round.
''The course is demanding,'' Lawrie said. ''You have to drive the ball very well and keep the ball in play to give yourself a chance to get it close to the pin. It's a great golf course. So far, so good but a long way to go.''
Kaymer had five birdies in his 69 and only consecutive bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9 kept him back. The German sank the putt that retained the Ryder Cup for Europe but despite that golden moment, the former top-ranked golfer hasn't won a tournament for a year.
''Three-under par is a very good score on this golf course,'' Kaymer said.
Charl Schwartzel recovered from a bogey on the second to go around in 71 for a share of third at 1 under with Francesco Molinari (71), Louis Oosthuizen (72) and overnight co-leader Bill Haas (73) - two behind Kaymer and three off the pace.
Defending champion Lee Westwood was level par in his quest to become the first player to win three straight Nedbank titles. The No. 6-ranked Englishman made two double bogeys in his second round and did well to only bogey No. 14 after ending up in an island of deep rough in the middle of a bunker. Only a birdie at the last kept Westwood from slipping into plus numbers in his title defense.
Haas came back well on the back nine after doubling his first hole and bogeying two more to turn at 40. The American made three birdies coming home for a 73 and a 1-under 143 alongside local hopes Schwartzel and Oosthuizen and Italy's Molinari.
Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts crashed from a share of the overnight lead to a tie for 10th in the 12-player field after successive sevens - one a double bogey and one a triple - on the 2nd and 3rd. He also had two other bogeys for a 6-over 78 to slump to 4 over.
Only Justin Rose was behind him. The No. 4-ranked Rose also had a triple-bogey seven on the treacherous par-4 3rd and four other bogeys to go 7 over for the day and slip to 8 over overall. Rose has followed the course-record 62 he shot in the final round of the World Tour Championship with rounds of 73 and 79 in South Africa.
Swedes Peter Hanson and Carl Pettersson were behind Westwood in eighth and ninth respectively, with South Africa's Garth Mulroy tied with Colsaerts for 10th on 4-over 148.
Schwartzel and Oosthuizen were both within range of the lead and a first home win at Sun City for five years after hanging in there on a windy day.
Lawrie benefited from staying well clear of the tough rough and dealt well with the breeze. His approach to within five feet on 17 set up the last of four birdies for the 1999 British Open champion, who has won twice in 2012 after going nearly a decade without a victory before last year's Open de Andalucia.
''I came back here a more experienced player, certainly a better tee to green player than I was in 1999,'' said Lawrie, who last played at Sun City the year he won the Open. ''I am a better player than I was back then.''
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With his career drifting along and his British Open victory a distant memory, Paul Lawrie got the kick he needed when his 14-year-old son beat him over nine holes.
He decided then he just wasn't working hard enough.
Lawrie says of his rude awakening at the hands of oldest son Craig three years ago: ''I was proud of him ... but I was also quite disappointed. You think...
With his career drifting along -- maybe even winding down -- and his British Open victory a distant memory, Paul Lawrie got the kick he needed when his 14-year-old son beat him over nine holes.
The Scot decided then he just wasn't working hard enough.
Lawrie's rude awakening at the hands of oldest son, Craig, three years ago was the catalyst, he said, to a strong comeback...
Martin Kaymer held on through the final five holes for a 2-shot victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at a rainy Sun City on Sunday, earning the German his first title of 2012 and something else to celebrate alongside a momentous Ryder Cup-retaining putt at Medinah.
Kaymer finished with an 8-under 280 ahead of South Africa's Charl Schwartzel in second.
Kaymer was twice in trouble...
Martin Kaymer rolled in a tricky 10-foot par putt on the last to shoot a 2-under 70 and hold a one-stroke lead on Saturday heading into the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Europe's Ryder Cup star made three birdies and a bogey on an overcast and breezy day, ensuring low scores were out of reach at the Gary Player Country Club.
Louis Oosthuizen (69) is next at 4 under...
The Nedbank Golf Challenge is going down in South Africa this weekend and it doesn't look very safe. Damn baboon's everywhere. No literally, baboon's are all over the course and they are stealing workers food. Check out the video below at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.
Not to often you see something like that go down on a golf course. ...