Skip to main content

Schwartzel set to end victory drought; Durban wash out in Euro Tour opener

updated 8:13 PM EST, Fri December 7, 2012
Charl Schwartzel plays a tee shot during his second round as he claimed the halfway lead at the Thailand Open.
Charl Schwartzel plays a tee shot during his second round as he claimed the halfway lead at the Thailand Open.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • South African Charl Schwartzel leads at halfway in Thailand Championship
  • Marcus Fraser a shot clear in Australian Open in Sydney
  • Nelson Mandela Championship in South Africa hit by flooding
  • China's Shanshan Feng leads after three rounds of Dubai Ladies Masters

(CNN) -- Charl Schwartzel stayed on course to achieve his first win since claiming the 2011 U.S. Masters crown as he took a four-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Thailand Championship Friday.

The South African shot a seven under par 65 for a 14 under par 130 total at Amata Spring Country Club.

Daniel Chopra of Sweden carded a 67 for second place with Japan's Masanori Kobayashi a shot further back.

Rising Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa shot a fine 66 for 136 while this year's Masters champion Bubba Watson of the United States and Spain's Sergio Garcia were in the group on 138.

Schwartzel is hopeful of ending his 20-month victory drought, particularly as he has found form on the putting green.

Top golfers' expectations for 2013
Living Golf: Best of 2012
Europe's Medinah miracle

"It is still a long way to go. It's half the job done. From my side, I just have to keep playing," he told the official European Tour website.

"I've been reading them (putts) well. The stroke feels good. I've gone through a long two years where I've missed a lot of putts. A few goes in, it's nice."

Ryder Cup star Garcia had three birdies in his last five holes to take closer order in a high class field.

"I'm in a decent position," he said.

Meanwhile, Marcus Fraser carded a second straight three-under-par in the Australian Open in Sydney to take a one-shot lead at halfway.

The home hope leads fellow Australians Brendan Jones (71) and first-round leader John Senden, who were tied for second at The Lakes.

In-form Englishman Justin Rose was in a group tied for fifth at three under going into the weekend, while American legend Tom Watson carded a superb 68 Friday to make the cut by a stroke.

Watson is on the same mark as defending champion Greg Chalmers, who slipped back with a second round 75.

The opening event of the 2013 European Tour, the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship, has yet to get underway at Royal Durban in South Africa.

Heavy rainfall left the course flooded for the second straight day but organizers hope to get the delayed event started Saturday.

In the Dubai Ladies Masters, the concluding event of the Ladies European Tour, China's Shanshan Feng continued to lead the way after the third round.

She carded a 67 for 18-under-par at the Emirates Golf Club, but Dutch woman Dewi Claire Schreefel made inroads into her lead with a tournament record 63 to trail by five.

France's Gwladys Nocera was a shot back at 12-under, one ahead of Germany's Caroline Masson and Cindy Lacrosse of the United States.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
updated 9:50 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
updated 7:40 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
updated 7:31 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
updated 9:52 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
updated 7:05 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
ADVERTISEMENT