Schwartzel tied for lead in Alfred Dunhill Championship


MALELANE, South Africa — Charl Schwartzel shot a second-round 64 to surge into a share of the lead on Day 2 at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Friday.


The 2011 Masters Tournament champion, who ended a long title drought by winning in Thailand last weekend, had six birdies and an eagle in his 8-under round to go 13-under-par and level with overnight leader Gregory Bourdy at the halfway stage.

Bourdy had seven-under 65 for a two-round total of 131 at the second event of the new European Tour season.

Schwartzel’s dominant 11-shot victory in Thailand was his first title since the Masters. He continued his impressive form with the lowest round so far at the Alfred Dunhill to be in contention for a second tournament win in a week after going nearly two years without a victory.

“With the (Thailand) win, you do build up a bit of confidence, but I don’t want to expect anything,” Schwartzel said. “It was a nice win last week, just to break the ice after winning the Masters. It’s such a big thing and everyone always talks about ‘when are you going to win again?’”

AUSTRALIAN PGA: In Coolum, Australia, Daniel Popovic maintained a share of the lead after the second day while Geoff Ogilvy posted another solid round.

Popovic, who nearly gave up golf earlier this year to care for his ill father, followed his opening-round 64 with 2-under-par 70, including a double-bogey seven on the par-5 15th.

The Tour rookie is tied with Zhang Xinjun (67) at 10-under, two shots clear of the field at the Palmer Coolum resort course.

Ogilvy (69) and Matthew Griffin (67) are tied for third.

JOHOR OPEN: In Johor, Malaysia, Sergio Garcia birdied five of his first 12 holes for a share of the lead in the suspended second round.

Garcia was 9-under overall with eight holes left when darkness forced the suspension of play in the Asian Tour event at rainy Horizon Hills. David Lipsky also was 9-under after finishing off a first-round 63 in the morning. He was unable to start the second round before play was stopped.

Ernie Els was 4-under overall with eight holes to play.

ROYAL TROPHY: In Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari beat Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto and China’s Wu Ashun 2 and 1 in to help Europe take a 3 1/2-1/2 lead over Asia after the opening foursomes matches.

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano birdied nine of the 14 holes at The Empire Hotel and Country Club in a 5-and-4 victory over Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa and South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon.

Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts and Germany’s Marcel Siem edged India’s Jeev Milkha Singh and Thailand Kiradech Aphibarnrat 1 up, and Miguel Angel Jimenez and playing captain Jose Maria Olazabal, both from Spain, halved the final match with South Korea’s Y.E. Yang and K.T. Kim.

After four fourball matches Saturday, the event will conclude Sunday with eight singles matches.