Dubuisson Holds Halfway Lead at Nedbank Golf Challenge

Victor Dubuisson

Victor Dubuisson posted a 2-under 70 in the second round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge and will take a two-stroke lead into the weekend at Gary Player Country Club.

Fighting off another day of heavy winds at Sun City Resort, Dubuisson turned in 34 to assume the pole position, with many of the opening-round contenders struggling.

“The driver of course here is the key if you want to play well and today I didn’t miss many fairways, maybe one or two, and I played very solidly in the wind,” Dubuisson said.

A level-par back nine, where two birdies were offset by a pair of bogeys, including one on 18, had the 27-year old signing off on a two-day total of 7 under.

While the two biggest South African stars struggled on Friday, another countryman picked up the slack. Darren Fichardt, who got into the field as a late alternate, shot an impressive 3-under 69, to move up to T2.

“I still can’t believe I’m playing. My wife always said ‘analysis leads to paralysis’ so I had no time to think about this tournament,” said Fichardt, who resides in Centurion, 90 miles southeast of Sun City. “I’m fortunate that I’m really hitting my driver well so I’m getting myself into position on every hole and then I’m putting pretty well. If I do make a mistake, I manage to up-and-down. So that is quite fortunate and is probably why I am on the score I am right now.”

The 42-year old journeyman is at 4 under, alongside Englishman Lee Westwood, who carded a second-consecutive 2-under 70.

“Other than four three-putts, I played very well. I hit it close a lot. Missed a couple of times from inside five feet as well as the four three-putts. That showed the quality of the long game because I think that’s probably one of the toughest days I’ve ever experienced on this course tee-to-green with the wind.” said Westwood.

A group of four prominent players are at T4, including defending champion Alex Noren (72), who, for the second-straight day, dropped a chip-in eagle on the par-5 10th.

“I haven’t made that many birdies but kept the bogeys out of the card for most of the time and two eagles help out very much,” said Noren.

The Swedish star is tied with a pair of top-ranked Englishmen – Tyrrell Hatton (70) and Ross Fisher (71), at 3-under par, along with Scott Jamieson of Scotland.

Two major champions – South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel (73) and Martin Kaymer (69) of Germany, are T8, and just four shots off the lead at 2-under par.

Rounding out the top 10 is a group of seven players tied at 1-under par, headlined by native son Branden Grace, who struggled to a 3-over 75. Last week’s 54-hole leader in Turkey, Shane Lowry (71), is also in the logjam at T10.

First-round leader, Bernd Wiesberger, carded a double bogey on the par-3 4th hole, followed by bogeys on Nos. 5 and 6, en route to a 5-over 77, dropping 16 spots to even-par 144.


1 Victor Dubuisson -6
T2 Darren Fichardt -4
T2 Lee Westwood -4
T4 Tyrrell Hatton -3
T4 Ross Fisher -3
T4 Alex Noren -3
T4 Scott Jamieson -3
T8 Charl Schwartzel -2
T8 Martin Kaymer -2
T10 Seven players tied at -1


Defending champion Alex Noren chipped in again on the par-5 10th, but his approach on the 18th was even more impressive.


“It’s the goal of the week to play Dubai because it’s been five years in a row that I’ve played the Dubai final. Of course I think about it.”
Victor Dubuisson



1Victor Dubuisson-6
T2Darren Fichardt-4
T2Lee Westwood-4
T4Tyrrell Hatton-3
T4Ross Fisher-3
T4Alex Noren-3
T4Scott Jamieson-3
T8Martin Kaymer-2
T8Charl Schwartzel-2
T10Shane Lowry-1
T10Richie Ramsay-1
T10Joost Luiten-1
T10Benjamin Herbert-1
T10Paul Waring-1
T10Julian Suri-1
T10Branden Grace-1
T17Louis OosthuizenE
T17David HorseyE
T17Alexander BjorkE
T17Lee SlatteryE
T17Michael Lorenzo-VeraE
T17Graeme StormE
T17Bernd WiesbergerE
T24David Drysdale1
T24Ryan Fox1
T24Callum Shinkwin1
T24Gregory Bourdy1
T24Nacho Elvira1
T24Hideto Tanihara1
T30Matthieu Pavon2
T30Haydn Porteous2
T30Thorbjorn Olesen2
T30Padraig Harrington2
T30Richard Sterne2
T30Sam Brazel2
T30Ian Poulter2
T37Chris Wood3
T37Tommy Fleetwood3
T37Marc Warren3
T37Matthew Fitzpatrick3
T37Fabrizio Zanotti3
T37Haotong Li3
T43Francesco Molinari4
T43Jorge Campillo4
T43Eddie Pepperell4
T43Lucas Bjerregaard4
T43George Coetzee4
T48Alexander Levy5
T48Soren Kjeldsen5
T48Stephen Gallacher5
T48Kiradech Aphibarnrat5
T48Dean Burmester5
T53Rafael Cabrera Bello6
T53Adrian Otaegui6
T53David Lipsky6
T53Paul Dunne6
T53Dylan Frittelli6
T53Matt Wallace6
T53Pablo Larrazabal6
T60Renato Paratore7
T60Andres Romero7
T60Nicolas Colsaerts7
T60Edoardo Molinari7
T60Andy Sullivan7
T65Jeunghun Wang8
T65Romain Wattel8
T65Thomas Bjorn8
68Scott Hend9
T69Brandon Stone11
T69Andrew Dodt11
71Jordan Smith12
-Peter UihleinWD

Credits: European Tour Media, Getty Images


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