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Daniel Brown leads at halfway stage in Eastern Cape

Daniel Brown leads at halfway stage in Eastern Cape

Daniel Brown will take a commanding three-shot lead into the weekend at the 2024 SDC Championship after producing late fireworks at St. Francis Links on Friday evening.

The Englishman, who only arrived at the host venue in Eastern Cape on Wednesday afternoon following significant travel disruption, followed up his opening 66 with a second-round 67 to reach 11 under par at the halfway stage.

Starting the day on six under, the 29-year-old turned in 36 after carding three birdies, a double bogey and a bogey on his front side, as the conditions made life difficult for the players on day two.

He then sandwiched a bogey at the second hole between gains on the first and fourth before going eagle-birdie-birdie from the sixth in a stunning finish to open up a healthy advantage at the top of the leaderboard.

First-round co-leader Shaun Norris and his fellow South African Robin Williams were Brown's nearest challengers on eight under.

Norris carded an eagle, one birdie and two bogeys in his 71, while Williams made an eagle and three birdies in his last four holes to sign for a sensational 67.

Americans James Nicholas and Jordan Gumberg were another stroke back on seven under after both shooting 69 in their second rounds.

Brown started from the tenth tee on Friday and picked up a shot at the 11th for the second day in succession before a double bogey on the 12th stalled his progress.

A bogey followed at the 14th but Brown bounced back straight away with consecutive birdies on the 15th and 16th.

After making two birdies and one bogey at the start of his back nine, Brown eagled the sixth to take over at the top, before adding to his lead with birdies at the seventh and eighth.

He said: "I had a really good finish. I’ve played really good the last two days but something really clicked in that stretch where I kept hitting it close, which is nice.”

A switch in wind from day one caused many players issues, with Brown adding: "It was a completely opposite wind so it took a bit of getting used to.

"Holes that were easy yesterday were really tricky today. As soon as you play two or three shots you realise it’s going to be a completely different challenge.

"I managed to scrap it around a bit in places and hang on. So you just take it one hole at a time and figure it out from there."

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