SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Zander Lombard shot a 7-under-par 65 to overtake fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen and take a two-shot lead after two rounds at the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Friday.
Lombard, who has just one professional title and none on the European Tour, bogeyed the first but that was his only dropped shot of the day at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City. He collected five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 No. 10 to move to 11 under par and put himself in contention for his maiden tour title at his country’s most prestigious tournament.
Oosthuizen led by three after a first-round 63 despite struggling with kidney stones. He couldn’t take that momentum into the second round. He made three birdies and three bogeys for a par 72 to slip two shots behind.
Thomas Detry was third on 7 under, four off the lead, and Tommy Fleetwood moved up to a tie for fourth with Marcus Kinhult with a second successive 69. They were five off the pace.
Defending champion Lee Westwood, seeking a record-breaking fourth title at Sun City, went 1 over to slip eight shots behind Lombard.
Lombard came through qualifying school only last year and endured a run of eight missed cuts this year.
He said he decided to attack the course on Friday after starting with a 68. It paid off.
“We were just fighting for a birdie every hole, not looking at the leaderboard or figuring out if we were going to just make par,” he said. “We were trying to make a birdie every hole. It was my mindset. I was being aggressive and being positive and it went my way today.”
Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger was in sight of the leaders after a 3-under 69 put him seven shots behind in a tie for ninth.
Ernie Els, who has also won the Nedbank title three times, saw his early promise disappear. Els started with a 68 to be on the first-round leaderboard but he struggled with an 81 in round two, which included three double bogeys.
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