Sizzling Saddier grabs share of SA Open lead

Ekurhuleni - France's Adrien Saddier fired the round of the tournament so far on Friday as his course-record equalling nine-under-par 63 catapulted him into a share of the halfway lead of the SA Open.

Seven birdies and an eagle around the testing Glendower Golf Club in the second round saw him join England's Chris Paisley at 13-under-par, and the pair had a comfortable four-stroke edge over the leading South African, Jacques Kruyswijk, who shot a five-under 67 to move to nine-under for the tournament.

"I played very solidly today," said Saddier, who matched the 2017 rounds of SA Open champion Graeme Storm and Italy's Edoardo Molinari with his 63.

Saddier, who started on the 10th hole, finished on the front nine, making birdie-eagle-birdie.

"The finish was awesome, I started very well," he said. "It was quite slow but after I made three birdies in a row on 15, 16 and 17, it was quite good.

"I had a long putt at seven, and eagle on the eighth and a good solid putt on the ninth, so yeah, I'm quite happy with this round."

He has just graduated from the European Challenge Tour, so he's wide-eyed about the position in which he finds himself.

"I have only led once before and I won once on the Challenge Tour so I have little experience of leading a tournament," he said.

"Yesterday I asked for a selfie with Ernie Els because he was my idol when I was young, so yes, it's quite nice to play with guys like Ernie, Retief (Goosen)."

Paisley went one better than his first-round 66, making six birdies and a bogey on his closing nine to surge to the top of the leaderboard.

"At the moment it's weird, I feel like I didn't play amazing but then, looking back, I hit a lot of good shots and holed a lot of good putts, so I'm delighted," he said.

"I tried not to do any crazy attacking, just tried to do the same things I did yesterday. It’'s quite easy when you have had a good round, the next day, to be a little bit more defensive and try to protect your position a bit. I made that mistake a few times so I kind of decided not to do that."

Kruyswijk, the current Cape Town Open champion, characteristically took the course on, and it has put him in a good position going into the weekend.

"I was a bit rusty with the driver on my front nine today and I missed a couple of fairways," he said. "I just said to my caddie, 'Listen, let's just relax and hit in the fairway, just bomb it down the middle,' and my driver just rose to the occasion and I hit a couple of really long drives straight down the middle and it set up for good scoring."

Behind the leaders, Retief Goosen rolled back the years as he raced all the way to 10-under-par heading up the 18th fairway.

He'd made six birdies, an eagle and a bogey up to that point, but a horrible pair of fluffed chips and two putts on 18 saw him slip back to eight-under - still good enough for a share of fourth with Zimbabwe's Scott Vincent, American Chase Koepka and tournament favourite Branden Grace.

Tournament host Els made the cut, reaching the halfway mark in three-under, while defending champion Storm missed out.

Former SA Open champions Richard Sterne, James Kingston, Andy Sullivan and Hennie Otto all made it to the weekend, while notables to miss out included Dean Burmester, Brandon Stone, Haydn Porteous and Oliver Bekker.

Scores:
131 - Chris Paisley 66 65, Adrien Saddier 68 63
135 - Jacques Kruyswijk 68 67
136 - Scott Vincent 70 66, Branden Grace 65 71, Chase Koepka 65 71, Retief Goosen 69 67
137 - Nacho Elvira 67 70
138 - Justin Walters 69 69, Renato Paratore 71 67, Soomin Lee 70 68, Rhys West 72 66, Jacques Blaauw 68 70
139 - Erik van Rooyen 67 72, Charl Schwartzel 69 70, Kyle McClatchie 68 71, Trevor Fisher Jnr 69 70, Matthieu Pavon 72 67, Matt Saulez 69 70
140 - Jorge Campillo 70 70, Daniel van Tonder 70 70, Zack Byrd 69 71, Rourke van der Spuy 69 71, Jeff Winther 68 72
141 - Breyten Meyer 70 71, Vaughn Groenewald 69 72, Darren Fichardt 70 71, Ruan de Smidt 72 69, Richard Sterne 67 74, Marcus Armitage 72 69, Ryan Evans 74 67, Oliver Fisher 69 72, Garrick Higgo 68 73, Richard Bland 69 72, Dylan Frittelli 70 71, Ernie Els 71 70, James Kingston 73 68, Shaun Norris 71 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 69 72, Jake Roos 69 72
142 - Anthony Michael 71 71, Neil Schietekat 70 72, Pedro Oriol 71 71, Jamie Donaldson 70 72, Marcus Kinhult 70 72, Tyrone Ferreira 68 74, Matt Wallace 68 74, JC Ritchie 72 70, Andy Sullivan 70 72, Justin Harding 75 67, Marc Warren 73 69, Mark Williams 72 70, Brett Rumford 71 71, Adilson Da Silva 69 73, Ockie Strydom 75 67
143 - MJ Viljoen 70 73, Oliver Farr 73 70, Jean Hugo 73 70, Louis de Jager 74 69, Musiwalo Nethunzwi 72 71, Pontus Widegren 72 71, Toto Thimba 73 70, Charlie Ford 71 72, Hennie Otto 71 72, George Coetzee 72 71, Ulrich van den Berg 68 75, Austin Connelly 70 73
144 - Colin Nel 71 73, Jbe' Kruger 74 70, Keenan Davidse 76 68, Dean Burmester 77 67, David Drysdale 72 72, Gregory Bourdy 75 69, Bradley Neil 67 77, Jens Dantorp 72 72
Missed the cut:-
145 - Thomas Detry 75 70, Julien Guerrier 74 71, Lucas Bjerregaard 74 71, Christo Lamprecht 73 72, Graeme Storm 75 70, Matthew Southgate 76 69, Lasse Jensen 71 74, Edoardo Molinari 76 69, Christofer Blomstrand 72 73, Clement Sordet 73 72, Daniel Greene 70 75, Ross McGowan 75 70, Scott Fernandez 74 71, Brandon Stone 75 70, Hennie du Plessis 71 74, Jaco Ahlers 73 72, Jared Harvey 72 73, Jonathan Agren 74 71
146 - Zander Lombard 70 76, Titch Moore 70 76, Mike Weir 73 73, Haydn Porteous 69 77, Soren Kjeldsen 79 67, Jordan Smith 73 73, Christiaan Basson 74 72, Jaco Prinsloo 77 69, Jovan Rebula 73 73
147 - Thomas Aiken 77 70, Morten Orum Madsen 72 75, Chris Swanepoel 73 74, Tapio Pulkkanen 72 75, Aaron Rai 74 73, Andrew Curlewis 75 72, Merrick Bremner 72 75, Malcolm Mitchell 77 70, Heinrich Bruiners 73 74, James Morrison 74 73, Jinho Choi 74 73, Pep Angles 71 76
148 - Trevor Dodds 74 74, Peter Karmis 78 70, Andre Nel 77 71, Ashley Chesters 72 76, Daniel Brooks 74 74, Sam Horsfield 73 75, Toby Tree 75 73
149 - Andrea Pavan 77 72, Tjaart van der Walt 75 74, Trevor Immelman 79 70, Rak hyun Cho 75 74, Keith Horne 75 74, James Kamte 79 70
150 - Garth Mulroy 72 78, Josh Geary 72 78, JJ Senekal 75 75, Jason Scrivener 74 76, Alex Haindl 74 76
151 - Riekus Nortje 73 78, Madalitso Muthiya 78 73, Roberto Lupini 75 76
152 - Chris Wood 75 77, Oliver Bekker 72 80, Marthin Scheepers 75 77, Raphael Jacquelin 73 79
153 - Louis Albertse 75 78, Mikko Korhonen 74 79, Marc Cayeux 81 72, Makhetha Mazibuko 73 80, Jacquin Hess 77 76
154 - Wallie Coetsee 81 73, Lee Slattery 75 79, Gregory Havret 80 74, Tyrone Ryan 71 83, Mathias Gronberg 75 79, Ricardo Gouveia 75 79
157 - Jean-Paul Strydom 80 77
158 - Ryan Tipping 75 83
161 - Michiel Bothma 78 83, Jason Diab 77 84
WD - Doug McGuigan 79 WD
RTD - David Howell