• Malaysian Open, Round Two

South Africans on top despite Schwartzel's struggles

ESPN staff
April 13, 2012
Martin Kaymer is lurking just behind the leaders © Getty Images


Masters runner-up Louis Oosthuizen found himself just a shot off the lead at the Malaysian Open when play was halted midway through the second round on Friday.

An impending thunderstorm over Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club forced officials to call a premature end to the day's play with a number of the afternoon starters still on the course - Oosthuizen among them.

The South African did manage to complete 12 holes, moving to eight-under for the tournament after starting the day at six-under following Thursday's round of 66. His playing partner, compatriot Charl Schwartzel, endured a difficult start to his day after leading following the first round - bogeying four of his opening 12 holes to slip back to five-under for the tournament when the klaxons went off.

Oosthuizen is nicely positioned behind two less heralded South Africans, Hennie Otto and Jbe Kruger, who both managed to finish sparkling second rounds before the storm warnings set in. Otto leads the field at nine-under after his round of 64, while Kruger - winner of his maiden tour event in India earlier this year - tied him after an only marginally less spectacular round of 65.

"I think all of us (South Africans) are coming into this tournament with a little bit of form coming back," said Kruger. "I spoke to Charl and he said he was struggling in the last couple of weeks. I was struggling as well so I guess we are just coming back into form."

The most high-profile name in the field, world No. 7 Martin Kaymer, is among a number of players at seven-under, after building on a relatively mediocre opening round with a 67 that vaulted the German up the leaderboard. He was soon joined by American David Lipsky and Scot Stephen Gallacher - although the latter only managed to complete 11 holes of his second round.

"I played really well today and gave myself a lot of birdie chances," Kaymer noted afterwards. "I felt like a hit a lot of good putts but maybe just over-read the greens.

"I will be a few shots behind after today so I will approach tomorrow a bit more aggressively. I am playing well - it is just a matter of time before I get a win again and get the results onto the scorecard. Sometimes patience is the most difficult thing in this game."

England's Danny Willett is six-under after a second successive round of 69, one shot ahead of Simon Dyson and two clear of Tom Lewis - who recorded another 70 to lay the foundations for a strong showing over the weekend. Alvaro Quiros is also four-under, although he still has a number of holes left to complete.

Matteo Manassero, meanwhile, has work to do over the second half of the tournament as he sits at two-under overall.

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