Sharvin & Caldwell cut as Bezuidenhout & Donaldson share Sun City lead

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Sharvin & Caldwell cut as Bezuidenhout & Donaldson share Sun City lead

Christiaan Bezuidenhout shares the lead going into the weekend of the South African Open at Sun City. Credit: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour.

Cormac Sharvin and Jonathan Caldwell will have an unwanted weekend off in Johannesburg after enduring a sharp reversal of fortunes on day two of the South African Open.

The Irish pair’s last outing as part of the European Tour’s three-tournament South Africa swing was brought to a premature end in Sun City despite starting their second rounds from even par. Hoping to build on his top-25 finish last week at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, Ardglass professional Sharvin carded five bogeys and a double in a six-over par round of 78.

With the cut-mark falling at three-over par, the 28-year old found himself three shots shy at a testing Gary Player Country Club where Clandeboye professional Caldwell also struggled on Friday. After sitting out last weekend at Leopard Creek, the 36-year old would’ve been eager to resume his normal service of recent weeks but went one shot worse than Sharvin, with a quintuple bogey 10 at the par-5 18th putting pay to Caldwell’s chances in an uncharacteristic round of 79..

Good scores were out there despite the challenge with Christiaan Bezuidenhout maintaining his push for back-to-back victories on the Sunshine Tour and European Tour’s South African Swing, but he still has company at 10-under par at the halfway stage of this tournament. While he managed to break free of the six-way tie for the lead he shared after day one, Welshman Jamie Donaldson went with Bezuidenhout and also came through the second round at 10-under par following a sublime 63.

They are two strokes clear of Dean Burmester and Dylan Frittelli, who posted rounds of 69 and 68 respectively. But Bezuidenhout has shown no signs of a loss of momentum following his victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship last week, and seems in perfect control of his game at this point.

“I’m very pleased. I missed a few makeable putts on the par fives and a few short putts which hurt a bit, but no damage was done. I was controlled and solid today, and I’m very pleased to be at -10 at the halfway mark. You have to have good course management around here and I’ve had a good gameplan for this week. I’m not going to change anything,” he said.

Donaldson made the biggest move with his round of 63 and is equally excited about the prospect of contending on the weekend on a golf course he enjoys.

“This is a great country and I really enjoy playing this golf course. You’ve got to hit fairways here. If you hit it in the rough it’s so much harder to get the right distance into the greens. I hit a lot of tee shots in play and my iron shots were very close to the flags, and then I was able to capitalise on that with good putts. I must have holed four or five 20-foot putts. So all in all it was a very good day.”

Behind them, Frittelli in particular is also exactly where he planned to be at the start of this tournament: “I said at the start if I can be within two or three shots going into the final nine holes, I feel l’ll have a chance. I’m within two of the lead so that’s perfect for the weekend.”

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