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Pair of 59s at golf tournament in honor of Nelson Mandela

updated 4:50 PM EST, Fri December 13, 2013
Jorge Campillo of Spain (left) and South Africa's Colin Nel signal their rounds of 59 at the Nelson Mandela Championship.
Jorge Campillo of Spain (left) and South Africa's Colin Nel signal their rounds of 59 at the Nelson Mandela Championship.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two players shoot rounds of 59 at European Tour event
  • Jorge Campillo and Colin Nel achieve feat at Nelson Mandela Championship
  • Nel improves 18 shots on his first round effort at Mount Edgecombe
  • Scores won't count for record purposes due to preferred lies rule

(CNN) -- South Africa's Colin Nel went into the second round of the Nelson Mandela Championship facing an early exit after shooting an opening seven-over 77 and finished it by achieving one of golf's most elusive feats -- a round of 59.

It catapulted Nel up the leaderboard from 138th into the top 20 but astonishingly his score was also matched Friday by Jorge Campillo of Spain.

Campillo improved a mere 11 shots on his opening level-par 70 to be one behind leader Daniel Brooks when play was halted.

England's Brooks shot a 62 in his opening round and was through 11 holes of his second at 12-under. The European Tour event has been reduced to 54 holes after being hit by thunderstorms and heavy rain.

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That also had implications for Nel and Campillo as their scores will not count for the record books because players were allowed to use preferred lies on the rain-sodden fairways at Mount Edgecombe.

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That ruling means golfers can pick up their ball on the fairway and place it -- but not nearer the hole -- to achieve a playable lie.

Nevertheless, Nel and Campillo played superb golf, with the latter shooting seven birdies and two eagles to contend for overall victory.

He held the clubhouse lead at 11-under 129 with Matthew Baldwin of England, who shot a second round 62.

Campillo was delighted by his efforts "We play other par 70s on Tour, but you still have to shoot 59 and I'm pretty happy with the way I finished."

"I was never close to 59 before, but in the KLM Open I was eight-under with three holes to go on a par 70," he told the official European Tour website.

Branden Grace was tied with fellow South African Oliver Bekker on 10-under 130 -- one shot back.

The tournament started a day early than scheduled so as to avoid a clash with Nelson Mandela's funeral Sunday, but has been hit by lengthy delays on all three days of play.

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"Mandela is one of the reasons I am here," Grace said.

"Coming here you're trying to get the win for Madiba, not that it will make everything better for the country, but hopefully it will put a little smile on some people's faces."

Meanwhile, Ryder Cup teammates Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose shared the lead at the halfway stage of the $1 million Thailand Championship at Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok.

Garcia, chasing his first win of 2013, shot a hole in one during his seven-under 65 for 11-under 133.

U.S. Open champion Rose carded a 68 to leave the pair two clear of overnight leader Alex Cejka of Germany, France's Alexander Levy and India's Anirban Lahiri.

America's Rickie Fowler shot a superb eight-under 64 to be a shot further back while in-form Henrik Stenson moved into contention with a 67 to lie joint seventh.

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