Stenson remains at the summit

11/17/2012 1:00:26 PM
Henrik Stenson  (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson kept the charging George Coetzee and first round leader Merrick Bremner at bay with a trio of birdies at the SA Open Championship.

The surging Coetzee began the day nine shots behind the Swede but reached the turn in a dazzling 30 which featured four birdies and an eagle, as he chipped in on the fourth, to haul himself into contention.

Stenson bogeyed for just the second time this week on the fourth as he found a fairway bunker and Coetzee birdied the tenth and 11th, ensuring he moved just one shot behind.

Yet Dubai resident Stenson, who looks certain to book his spot at next week’s DP World Tour Championship, picked up a succession of gains at the seventh, eighth and ninth to move four strokes clear.

Coetzee was punished for his agressive putting with bogeys at the 12th and 15th while Bremner, playing with Stenson and his Swedish counterpart Magnus Carlsson, was unable to cut the gap at the top.

Charl Schwartzel, who was one of several players to finish his second round this morning after a thunderstorm brought a premature end to proceedings yesterday, slipped off the pace in search of his first national title at the 11th attempt.

The 2011 Masters Tournament champion was nicely poised at eight under but two double-bogeys in three holes saw him fall back.

Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer was the first player to shoot under 70 in the penultimate round as he signed for a 68 which moved him to eight under.