Ernie has a tough day

2004-12-03 21:47
Sun City - The accurate irons and white-hot putter in the armour of Stuart Appleby had the decisive vote in Friday's second day of the Nedbank Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club here.

The Australian will tee off as the sole frontrunner on Saturday after scoring an excellent 69 (par 72).

Appleby on Friday became the first player in this year's tournament to break through the magical 70 mark. His score after the first two rounds is 139, beating par by 5.

The man chasing him will be Lee Westwood who added a deserving 70 to the same score on Thursday. One shot back, at 141, are Retief Goosen (South Africa) and the friendly Zimbabwean Nick Price (71 and 70) who won the Challenge three times before.

Ernie Els will have to launch a major fight-back if he wants to be in contention. His score of 74 on the second day, 2 over par, is proof that this course is punishing inaccuracy very harshly.

The world's player number two is on par after the first two rounds - five shots off the pace. And a sliced tee shot on the 11th hole (par 4) was responsible when it went deep into the wilderness.

The ball was unplayable and he had to incur a penalty. From the point where the ball was dropped he again pushed the ball into the thick rough.

Faux pas

From this position he got the ball onto the grass, but then the Big Easy made another faux pas when his ball landed in the bunker just short of the putting green. Els had to enter a 7 on his card for the par 4 hole.

He made par on holes 12 to 18, but the three extra shots he incurred on the 11th may still haunt him.

Goosen could also have been in a much better position. Up to the 11th he was neck and neck with Appleby at 5 under par. But golf has never claimed to be predictable.

At the 17th and 18th holes he conceded shots after scoring birdies at the same holes in the first round.

Appleby was quite philosophical about his round on Friday. "You accept the good luck that comes your way. Today I played well with my irons and my putting was good. "A few of them went in from a distance of three to four metres. That is the way it goes on the day. If I can continue like this I stand a reasonably good chance of staying ahead."

Have 'lost the urge to compete'

Indeed. When luck smiles at you, you grab it. Price will confirm this. Before the tournament he did not rate himself. He ascribed that to the fact that since August he has only played in two big tournaments.

"I have lost the urge to compete," the popular Zimbabwean said.

"To spend more time with my family is my priority. This is the best I have played in a long time."

The drama will unfold further on Saturday!


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.