• South African Open

Schwartzel and Crespi lead in Johannesburg

ESPN staff
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Charl Schwartzel has not won his native South African Open before © Getty Images
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Charl Schwartzel justified his tag as pre-tournament favourite after a seven-under round of 65 gave him a share of the lead at the South African Open.

Schwartzel sits alongside Marco Crespi at 12-under for the tournament following another impressive visit at Glendower Golf Club. The South African made five birdies and an eagle in his opening nine holes to go out in 29, but came in with an even-par 36 after he made three bogeys and three birdies on the back nine.

Crespi scored a 67 to go with his first round of 65 on Thursday, carding six birdies and a solitary bogey on his rise to the top of the field.

"I missed a lot of fairways and a lot of greens today. My long game was not how I like to play. My putting and chipping was pretty amazing," Crespi said.

"I was expecting a good tournament, because I was playing well. Obviously not this big, but I am pretty confident about the weekend. I'll just try to remain calm and play my game my way.

"I just have to catch more fairways, because I really like to play from there. I don't have too much speed through the ball, so I need to stay on the fairway. If I get it right then I can control the distance, spin and direction more."

Elsewhere, Morten Orum Madsen continued his good start with a second round of 66 to move within a shot of the two leaders, while Christiaan Basson finds himself a further shot back at 10-under.

James Morrison scored 66 to move to nine-under at the event, while overnight leader Matthew Nixon made an even-par 72 to stay at eight-under overall.

European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley is amongst those who missed the cut; he finished seven-over after his two rounds in Johannesburg.

South African Open leaderboard

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