Friday, 08 January 2016
Keith Horne  (Getty Images)
Keith Horne (Getty Images)

Keith Horne set the target as South Africans dominated proceedings on day two of The BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni.

The event has produced 12 home winners in the 19 stagings since it joined The European Tour International Schedule in 1997 and Horne led a ten-strong group of South Africans in the top ten.

The 44 year old shot a flawless 69 to move to eight under and level with overnight leader Jaco Van Zyl who was in the early stages of his second round.

Jbe Kruger was then a shot behind the leading duo after signing for a 70 on a day when scoring was more difficult courtesy of a gusting wind at Glendower Golf Club.

While Kruger has already tasted European Tour victory with his win at the 2012 Avantha Masters, Horne and Van Zyl, despite having 21 Sunshine Tour wins between them, have yet to enter the winner's circle.

With play ended early on Thursday due to the threat of lightning, 33 players had to return to complete their first rounds but none of them could make a dent in the upper echelons and Van Zyl kept hold of his one stroke lead at seven under as the second round got under way.

Horne was the first player to seize the initiative after starting at five under and picked up shots on the 12th and 14th to join the leader after ten holes.

Kruger also shot a 67 in his first round and he was a shot behind the leaders after two birdies and a bogey on his front nine but he made another gain on the 11th and holed from 12 feet on the par five 13th to move ahead.

Horne was finding range with his irons, though, and made no mistake from eight feet on the seventh to join the leader before a bogey on the 17th from Kruger gave him the lead on his own.

It did not take Van Zyl long to find his rhythm and, after a par on the first, he birdied the second, where he had picked up an eagle on Thursday, to join Horne at the top.

Brandon Stone was then in the group at six under after a dramatic 67 which contained just seven pars. The 22 year old won the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open in November and continues to show why he is such a hot prospect.

He opened with a pair of birdies from the tenth and despite dropping a shot on the next, made two more gains on the 14th and 15th to turn in 33. Back-to-back birdies on the first and second were followed by back-to-back bogeys on the fourth and fifth but further gains on the seventh and ninth handed him the joint low round of the day so far along with Hennie Otto who was one under.

Justin Walters was also at six under after a 70, alongside Englishman Ross McGowan who recorded the same score.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout brilliantly chipped-in from a bunker on the fifth on his way to a 69 that was good enough to get him to five under alongside Branden Grace.

The World Number 14 has never won his home Open but birdies on the second and third saw him making good early progress.

Two-time champion Retief Goosen was a shot behind after a frustrating 72 which saw him record a third double bogey of the week thanks to a three-putt from 15 feet on the fifth.

Dean Burmester was also at four under after a 70 that was highlighted by a brilliant long-range chip-in on the sixth.

Shaun Norris was also in that group after dropping two shots in his first four holes while Daniel Brooks was yet to get under way.

Defending champion Andy Sullivan shot a disappointing 75 on Thursday and followed that with a level par 72 as he was on course to miss the cut in his first European Tour title defence.

Richard McEvoy was level par for the week after a 69 but he had reason to smile as he holed out from 159 yards with a nine iron on the 14th to register a hole in one.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1STONE, BrandonRSA18-14
2BEZUIDENHOUT, ChristiaanRSA18-12
3BROOKS, DanielENG18-11
T4GOOSEN, RetiefRSA18-9
T4GRACE, BrandenRSA18-9
T4WALTERS, JustinRSA18-9

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