The Goose takes charge

2009-12-05 00:00

SUN CITY — Retief Goosen’s approach to the first hole brought back memories of his eagle on 17 the previous day, and although it didn’t go in the hole, he took a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge being played over the 7 162-metre Gary Player Country Club.

He pitched it to within a foot from the rough on the right of the first fairway and tapped it in for the first of three birdies in the opening four holes as he raced into the lead.

And although he relinquished that lead briefly to Robert Allenby and Masters champion Angel Cabrera, he signed for a four-under 68 and a total of seven-under 135, with Cabrera shooting the low round of the day with his five-under 67 taking him to six-under for the tournament.

Goosen started fast before dropping a shot on the eighth. He rallied with a birdie on the ninth and another on the 10th before making another bogey four on the 12th.

He got that shot back with a birdie on the 15th, but not before he took a visit to the bush on the 550-metre par-five 14th, and managed to salvage a par from a lie under a low thorn tree.

“The rough is a little less punishing than it was the last time I played here,” said Goosen. “If you miss a fairway, you have a little bit more of a chance.”

Cabrera had a round filled with dark glares at his putter, the sand in bunkers and the fans.

But for all that, he dropped just one shot when he bogeyed the 193-metre par-three in a round filled with some of his belligerent best, and some long-distance putting.

Defending champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden is nicely poised to make a bid for his second consecutive victory after his four-under 68 lifted him into a share of second with Cabrera and first-round leader Robert Allenby of Australia.

South Africa’s Tim Clark lived up to his “bulldog” tag with a battling even-par 72 which saw him share fifth with Hunter Mahan of the United States.

Sunshine Tour 2008 Order of Merit winner Richard Sterne battled, and his lone birdie on 10 was no compensation for four bogeys in his round of 75.

World number 10 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland struggled his way through a stomach complaint a four-over 76.


137 - Retief Goosen (RSA) 69 68

138 - Angel Cabrera (ARG) 71 67, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 70 68, Robert Allenby (AUS) 68 70

141 - Hunter Mahan (USA) 70 71, Tim Clark (RSA) 69 72

142 - Ross Fisher (ENG) 73 69, Robert Karlsson(SWE) 70 72

143 - Luke Donald (ENG) 72 71

146 - Nick Watney (USA) 73 73

147 - Richard Sterne (RSA) 72 75

149 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 73 76

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