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Back to Back 65's Gives Els The Lead in South Africa

Back to Back 65's Gives Els The Lead in South Africa

Ernie Els shot his second straight 65 on Saturday to give himself a two shot lead over countryman Retief Goosen at the South African Open.

It took three days to get the first two rounds in as soggy weather made the course literally unplayable on Friday.

The delay didn't seem to affect Els in the least as he fired a bogie free 65 on Saturday to sit at (-14) in round that saw him make seven birdies.

It's really no wonder that Els, who has made as many bogies as eagles (one) in his first two rounds, would be the betting favourite as the bookmakers put him at (9-5).

Retief Goosen fell off a bit on day two, but his 68 in round two still puts him in a tie for 3rd place after opening with a 64 on Thursday/Friday.

It really came down to an uncooperative putter for the two-time US Open champion, as he had 31 putts in the second round compared to 23 on day one.

With Els in top form, the Goose will have to avoid anymore 30+ putt rounds if he's going to keep pace with the Big Easy.

With Goosen in sole second, it's fitting the books would have him as a formidable second choice on their betting board at (7-2).

The country's best have brought their 'A-Game's to the South African Open this week and the books have Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen just behind the two men at the top.

Frenchman Romain Wattel sits one shot ahead of Schwartzel who's tied for fourth place with Oosthuizen at (-10).

Schwartzel shot a 69 in round two, but it could've been a lot lower if he was only able to hit greens consistently and he'll have to improve his ball striking if he's going to stay with Els and Goosen on Sunday. He's missed at least six greens in each of his first two rounds.

The bookies have given Schwartzel a reasonable chance at victory with him heading to Sunday at (7-1).

Louis Oosthuizen has been a yo yo this week and he could be tied with Els if it wasn't for four bogies in round two.

If he can clean things up a bit, the Open champion should be in contention on the back nine in round four as he's making plenty of birdies this week and is regaining the form he showed in his impressive summer run.

Oosthuizen tees off round three at (9-1).

Journeyman Romain Wattel is alone in third place, but he's getting little confidence from the books and heads out at (21-1).


Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad - A.A. Milne

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