O'Hara clings to lead in Johannesburg

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 24, 2011
Steven O'Hara held a one-shot lead from Retief Goosen and Merrick Bremner at the halfway mark of the South African Open on Friday. O'Hara holed four birdies in a bogey-free second round of 4-under 68 for the Scot to head into the weekend on 11 under at the Serengeti Golf Club. He needs a top-four finish at the tournament to save his European Tour card next season. Goosen showed signs he has shrugged off his niggling back problem with five birdies and just one bogey as the two-time champion hit a 68. Bremner had the same score after he birdied three of his last five holes to move to 10 under alongside Goosen. Defending champion Ernie Els shot a second successive 69 for a share of 14th place at 6 under. O'Hara, 31, kept his nerve in windy conditions and on fast, testing greens -- and with his immediate tour future in the balance -- to retain the lead he shared with South Africa's Jbe Kruger on Thursday. He had birdies at Nos. 2, 11, 16 and 17 for a one-stroke advantage ahead of the biggest weekend of his year. ''You look at the guys behind me like Retief Goosen, they can score really low and I've still got 36 holes left,'' O'Hara said. ''I'll keep doing what I'm doing and trusting my swing and if I'm in a position to win on Sunday then so be it. Otherwise, hopefully I'll get a top three or four finish.'' Runner-up to Els in 2010, Goosen birdied his first two holes but dropped a shot at the par-5 No. 4. He responded with another three birdies, including one on the last where he coolly rolled in his putt for a 10-under two-round total of 134. Having spent months struggling with back problems, Goosen is in contention for a first tournament win since early 2009. ''I can only see the greens getting tougher and that will make the scoring harder,'' he said. ''But the tougher it gets the better. When it becomes a grind, that's the way I like it.'' Bremner jumped into a tie for second after a tumultuous finish at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Serengeti, where he followed a bogey at No. 12 with a double-bogey six at No. 13 and then birdies at Nos. 14, 15 and 18. South African duo Garth Mulroy and Lyle Rowe are two strokes off the lead in a tie for 4th on 9 under. Rowe was the day's biggest mover with his 6-under 66, which included an eagle and six birdies as well as two dropped shots. Austria's Bernd Wiesberger (68) and another Scot, Lloyd Saltman (68), are two of only three non-home players in the top 13 alongside O'Hara. The pair are part of a six-way tie for eighth. Els had two birdies, then two bogeys, then two more birdies in an up-and-down opening six holes. The five-time South African Open winner had just one more birdie and eight pars coming home to lie five shots off the lead. Denmark's Thomas Norret (69), Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (70), English pair Simon Wakefield (67) and Graeme Storm (68), and former Ryder Cup player Phillip Price of Wales (70) were all alongside Els at 6 under.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker