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  • Malaysian Open, Round Two

Schwartzel makes his move in Malaysia

ESPN staff
March 22, 2013 « Saunders tells Eubank to put up or shut up | Chartbeat test »
Charl Schwartzel has set the target in Malaysia © AP
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Malaysian Open leaderboard

Charl Schwartzel flexed his muscles ahead of next month's Masters by surging into contention at the Malaysian Open.

The South African, Masters winner in 2011, was one of a large number of players who had to return on Friday to complete his first round after heavy rain brought an early end to Thursday's play.

He made his move with an opening 67 and threatened to run away with the event at one stage during his second round. His play from tee to green was exemplary for most of his round and at one stage he led by three shots.

Starting from the tenth, Schwartzel birdied his first two holes and picked up two more shots to turn in 32. Further birdies followed on the third and fifth.

The sapping heat was a problem for all and Schwartzel has admitted to losing concentration. His momentum was checked by bogeys at six and seven and he was forced to sign for a 68 which leaves him at nine-under at the halfway mark.

"I can't be too hard on myself," Schwartzel said on Sky Sports. "It is extraordinarily hot out there and a bit of lack of concentration at the end. I made a bad decision with club selection on six and hit a very poor shot at seven.

"It was a long day, but overall I played well and have given myself a chance.

"It is difficult with the heat and when you are going slow it takes its toll but at least I've got a chance.

"I am playing consistent. The two bogeys were due to a lack of concentration. The game is good and it shows me if I keep doing then I can be on top."

Ashun Wu is level with Schwartzel at nine-under, while Scott Jamieson is three shots further adrift after a level-par round of 72.

After a substantial delay, the players did get back out on course and overnight leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat eased his way back to the top of the standings and he is 10-under with nine holes of his second round to play.

Edoardo Molinari is starting to show the green shoots of recovery and two birdies moved him up to eight-under after five holes of his second round.

It's not yet clear where the cut mark will be but Luke Donald has given himself a chance by moving to level-par after seven holes before play was suspended due to fading light.

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