Dawson & Murphy chasing paydays in Bloemfontein

Adam McKendry
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Robin Dawson (Photo by Neil Baynes/Getty Images)

Robin Dawson and John Murphy will both return to Bloemfontein Golf Club on Saturday morning looking to book their place in the final two rounds of the Manguang Open as they continue to play catch-up in South Africa.

The Irish pair both still have to complete their second rounds in Bloemfontein as darkness halted play for the second straight day, tournament organisers still playing catch up after a rain delay on Thursday.

Both players are at three-under for the tournament but, so low is the scoring, that is only good for a share of 102nd and they will need to pick up a few shots in the latter halves of their rounds when they finish them on Saturday morning.

The cut line currently sits at five-under-par, although that could change depending on how other players perform in and around it, with the majority of Friday’s afternoon starters still to round out their second rounds.

Dawson was one-under for his day when play was suspended, picking up two birdies and one bogey in nine holes before the hooter sounded, with Murphy level-par through six after a birdie was cancelled out by a bogey.

It will also be a nervy wait for Richard O’Donovan. Already finished his round, a three-under 69, the 31-year-old is at four-under and in a share of 83rd, and he will hope for some adverse conditions on Saturday morning that will see the cut line fall back to his score.

Above them, already safely in the clubhouse, Holywood teen Tom McKibbin continued his good form with a two-under 70 at the second course, Schoeman Park, to move up to six-under and into a share of 38th, however it could have been better.

The 19-year-old had moved up to nine-under and four shots off leader Pieter Moolman, but a triple-bogey at the par-four 15th ruined his momentum and saw him slip back down the leaderboard, although he is safely in for the weekend.

Moolman leads the way at 13-under after a six-under 66 in his second round, the South African still bogey-free for his week after four birdies and an eagle at Schoeman Park on day two as he looks to continue a trend of local winners on the Challenge Tour’s South African Swing.

“I was surprised with how well I scored today. I didn’t hit it well but managed my game brilliantly. I’m delighted because it was a long day, I have played 28 holes and I’m looking forward to round three,” said Moolman.

“My short game helped me a lot today. I wasn’t great off the tee and therefore I missed a lot of greens. My chipping and putting saved me lots of shots and that was key to my good score today.”

The Netherlands’ Lars van Meijel is his closest competitor, a six-under 66 at Bloemfontein taking him to 12-under, with four players tied for third at 11-under including MJ Viljoen, who still has two-thirds of his second round to complete.

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