Sunshine Tour

Thriston Lawrence leads Joburg Open as Covid-19 cuts tournament to 54 holes

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South African golfer Thriston Lawrence (Getty Images)
South African golfer Thriston Lawrence (Getty Images)

South African golfer Thriston Lawrence surged into the lead following a weather-affected second round of the Joburg Open at Randpark Golf Club on Friday.

The Sunshine Tour announced on Friday that the Joburg Open has been reduced to 54 holes and will finish on Saturday in order to help European golfers affected by this to return to their countries.

"The decision was taken to help facilitate their safe return and give them an extra day to make travel arrangements," read its statement.

This follows South Africa having been placed on a red travel list as a result of the new Covid-19 variant in the country.

The second round also had to be suspended because of a weather delay and will be completed on Saturday morning before the start of the third and final round.

Home favourite Shaun Norris was the best of the afternoon wave at six-under with seven holes of round two to complete on day three.

Lawrence made an eagle and five birdies to card 65 and the lead on 12-under par as he chases his maiden DP World Tour title.

His nearest challenger is fellow countryman Zander Lombard, who signed for a second round of 67 to head into the weekend on eight-under overall.

"It's been great. Everything seems to be working well," he said.

"I've made three eagles in two rounds so that's six-under right there. I've been hitting it nicely off the tee and this golf course rewards that. I've also been putting nicely for a change. I know this golf course quite well and have good confidence on these greens, so I'm very happy with where I am right now.

"The first two holes into the wind were crucial for me. I made two nice two-putts for pars there, and then on the third I hit it to three foot for the first birdie... There were a few sneaky pin positions out there but I managed to keep my approaches on the right side of the hole."

Lawrence is playing just his 22nd DP World Tour event this week and seeking to add to the Sunshine Tour win he claimed at the 2019 Origins of Golf win in Stellenbosch.

"There's obviously a lot of expectations, but I'm just going to go out and do what I do and approach my next round as just a normal day on the golf course."

Leading second round scores of the DP World Tour Joburg Open, at Randpark Golf Club, Johannesburg on Friday (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 71):

Reduced to 54 holes due to the new coronavirus variant.

Play suspended due to bad weather with 60 players to complete their rounds early Saturday, before the third and final round.

130 - Thriston Lawrence (RSA) 65 65

134 - Zander Lombard (RSA) 67 67

135 - Ashley Chesters 66 69

136 - Angel Hidalgo (ESP) 65 71

137 - Hennie Du Plessis (RSA) 67 70

138 - J. C. Ritchie (RSA) 72 66, Keith Horne (RSA) 71 67, Yannik Paul (GER) 68 70, Heinrich Bruiners (RSA) 68 70

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