De La Riva among those facing anxious afternoon

12/9/2012 12:37:50 PM
Eduardo de la Riva  (Getty Images)
Eduardo de la Riva (Getty Images)
Three players were tied for the clubhouse lead midway through the second and final round of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa.

Spaniard Eduardo De La Riva, Scotland’s Scott Jamieson and England’s Steve Webster all faced a nervous afternoon wait to see whether or not their seven under par total would be good enough for a play-off come the end of the day at Royal Durban – where the tournament was cut to 36 holes after play was washed out on Thursday and Friday.

Saturated fairways had forced a revised course layout, with par down to 65, and Jamieson shot a remarkable 57 to leap into contention for a maiden European Tour title.

The 29 year old carded eight birdies – remarkably five of them were twos – to record the lowest round in European Tour history, although it would not be entering the record books due to the modified conditions.

The 37 year old Webster, playing his 446th European Tour event, had five birdies in his bogey-free closing round.

More than five years since picking up his second and last European Tour title, Webster’s highlights included putts from 20 feet and 35 feet at the second and third.

“It’s a nice wait,” said Webster. “I think it’s going to be short. We’ll just see what happens and it’s up to those boys playing in the afternoon now. 

“I was hitting my irons great so I really enjoyed this week – it’s been frustrating for the sponsors only having two rounds but we got there in the end, because it didn’t look like we were going to play at all on Friday. It’s nice to have a competitive 36 holes.”

De La Riva, who came through Qualifying School last month for the first time in ten years, reached eight under with a birdie at the 14th, but a bogey at the last left him tied with Jamieson and Webster.

Overnight leader Mortem Orum Madsen guaranteed a solid start to his rookie season with a 64 leaving him tied for fourth on six under, along with fellow European Tour newcomer Maximilian Kieffer and England’s Matt Nixon.

Jaco Van Zyl matched Jamieson’s 57 to be part of a large group on five under, which included the main threat from the afternoon session in Tim Clark, who followed his first round 60 with seven straight pars.

Clark stuck his approach to two feet at the ninth then holed a putt from the fringe at the tenth to make it a four-way tie at the top.

Webster, Jamieson and De La Riva prepared themselves for a probable play-off after Clark, level with two to play, bunkered his approach to the 17th, went over the green and three-putted from there for a double bogey six.