Immelman, Rose lead into Sun City weekend

2007-12-01 00:00

Trevor Immelman and Justin Rose are tied for the lead going into the weekend of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, with Ernie Els only three strokes behind.

Immelman maintained his position at the top of the leaderboard with a 66 for a total of 11 under par 133 at the Gary Player Country Club yesterday. As his first round co-leader Adam Scott fell off the pace to six under, European Tour Order of Merit winner, Rose took his place with a sublime bogey-free 65.

But at three strokes off the pace, Els remains the biggest threat in his attempt to claim a record fourth Nedbank Golf Challenge title.

The South African dropped only one shot in his second round 67 to climb into contention on eight under par. The bogey came on the par-four 17th where his drive found the right fairway bunker.

“I enjoyed the round, but not the 17th,” said Els, who also failed to take advantage of the scoring opportunities on the par fives and played the four of them in only one under yesterday.

“I can improve on that. When I’ve won here in the past, I’ve always played the par fives really well. I need a special couple of holes to happen for me to get myself right in it. I’ll just try and get the most out of my rounds on the weekend.”

With two rounds left, Els singled out Rose as the player to catch.

“The way Justin is going, I need some low ones on the weekend. But I need to improve my putting under pressure because Justin is putting as well as Tiger Woods at the moment.”

Swede Henrik Stenson, who finished second on his debut in this event last year, worked his way back into contention with a 65 to head into the weekend on seven under par.

“It’s just what I needed. I couldn’t make putts in the first round, and in the second round I just took the bad holes out and made a lot of birdies … My plan is to get there before anybody else.”

Rory Sabbatini improved on his first round 76 with a 68, which lifted him out of last place and drew him back to level par for the tournament. At 11 strokes off the lead, he hasn’t ruled out his chances.

Retief Goosen carded a 71 for a total of one over par, while Charl Schwartzel added a second successive 74 to place him last on four over par.

SCORES

133 - Trevor Immelman (RSA) 67-66, Justin Rose (ENG) 68-65

136 - Ernie Els (RSA) 69-67

137 - Henrik Stenson (SWE) 72-65

138 - Adam Scott (AUS) 67-71

139 - Luke Donald (ENG) 68-71

142 - Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 69-73

144 - Rory Sabbatini 76-68

145 - Retief Goosen (RSA) 74-71, Stewart Cink (USA) 72-73

146 - Niclas Fasth (SWE) 74-72

148 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 74-74

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