Fisher holds narrow lead in East London

19/03/2010 15:02:38
Africa Open - Round Two  (Getty Images)
Africa Open - Round Two (Getty Images)

Trevor Fisher Junior holds the lead at the halfway stage of the Africa Open after matching his opening round effort with another 66 in East London to head into the weekend on 14 under par.

The South African, who was one of five players to share top spot after the opening round at the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour event, was in command from the start of the day after beginning with an eagle and a birdie on his first two holes.

His closest challenge came from fellow overnight leader Patrik Sjoland, as the Swede mixed an impressive eight birdies and an eagle with one double bogey and two bogeys.

Meanwhile another home favourite, Thomas Aiken, did not drop a shot on his way to a 67 and sits 12 under overall.

Keith Horne, on the same score as his compatriot, was the highest-placed player amongst the afternoon starters, one shot ahead of a quartet of players on ten under - including Deane Pappas, Vaughan Bradford, Klas Eriksson and Englishman Justin Walters.

But leader Fisher was the man in control and he spoke afterwards of his delight at giving himself every chance of victory heading into the weekend.

"With two rounds to go, I've obviously put myself in position which is nice," he said. "I just want to give myself a chance - that's all.

"At the end of the day if I can walk away and say 'I've given myself a chance', then I'll be happy whatever the result is."

The 30 year old South African, who picked up five birdies in total as well as a second eagle on the par five 11th - along with two bogeys – admitted that his electric start had been key to his round.

He added: "I started off so well, even though I was a little tight this morning, didn't sleep too well last night and almost didn't wake up.

"I didn't expect much and started off with an eagle and I sank a massive putt on the second hole (for birdie) and I just got it going nicely.

"I got a little bit tight on the back nine, but I held it together. I think I let one or two shots slip, but I'm happy overall."

Pre-tournament favourites Charl Schwartzel, James Kingston and Richard Sterne, the highest ranked players in the field at 66, 83 and 94 respectively, were well placed for a weekend charge after rounds of 70, 69 and 71 to move into a tie for ninth on nine under.

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke finished on seven under after following up his opening 69 with a 70.