Lawrie grabs 1-shot lead at Nedbank
Sun City, South Africa (Sports Network) - Paul Lawrie carded a 3-under 69 on Friday to grab a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion, finished 36 holes at 4-under-par 140.
Martin Kaymer also shot 69 on Friday to move into second place at minus-3.
Bill Haas, who shared the first-round lead with Nicolas Colsaerts, stumbled to a 1-over 73 at Gary Player Country Club to slip into a share of third place at 1-under-par 143. He was joined there by Louis Oosthuizen (72), Charl Schwartzel (71) and Francesco Molinari (71).
Defending champion Lee Westwood tripped to a 1-over 73 to end 36 holes at even-par 144. Peter Hanson (73) is one shot back at plus-1.
Carl Pettersson faltered to a 3-over 75 to slip into ninth at 3-over 147. Colsaerts struggled to a 6-over 78 to tumble into a share of 10th at plus-4 and stands alongside Garth Mulroy (73).
World No. 4 Justin Rose fell into last place in the 12-player field after a second-round 79. He ended 36 holes at 8-over 151.
Lawrie parred his first four holes before dropping in an 18-foot birdie effort on the par-4 fifth. He cruised around the turn with six pars in a row from the sixth.
The Scotsman moved to 3-under with a birdie on the par-3 12th and birdied the 14th, but gave that shot right back with a bogey on No. 15. Lawrie moved back into the lead with a 5-foot birdie putt on the 17th.
"It's still pretty bunched and there's plenty of time for the guys who've struggled the first two days to come back on the weekend," said Lawrie. "I played nicely, I struggled a bit with the driver so I hit a lot of 3-woods off the tees. I hit my 3-wood pretty far, but I also hit a lot of good shots with my irons."
Kaymer, who started two groups ahead of Lawrie, birdied the second and fourth to move to minus-2. He also converted a birdie effort on the seventh, but faltered to a bogeys at eight and nine to slip to minus-1.
The 2010 PGA champion got one stroke back as he birdied the par-5 10th. After three pars in a row, Kaymer got up and down for birdie on the 14th to move to 3-under. He parred the final four holes to end there.
"It's great. There isn't anybody running away with it at the moment," said Kaymer. "It was a very good round. I hit a lot of good tee shots and I think once you hit fairways you can score well."
NOTES: Lawrie played this event in 1999, but finished 12th that year ... Only seven of the 12 players in the field have competed in this event before ... In the eight-player Champions Challenge, Bernhard Langer finished two rounds at 9-under 135 and leads by four strokes over Jay Haas.
11/30 12:24:33 ET