European PGA Tour

Coetzee one clear with play suspended in South Africa

Centurion, South Africa (Sports Network) - Charl Coetzee fired a 7-under 65 on Friday to grab a 1-stroke lead with the second round of the inaugural Tshwane Open suspended due to lightning in the area.

Coetzee finished 36 holes at 12-under-par 132.

Mark Tullo carded a 66 to move into second place at minus-11. He stands alongside Dawie Van Der Walt, who was 7-under through 14 holes of his second round at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate.

Peter Uihlein shot 66 to move to 10-under-par 134. He is alone in fourth place, while Romain Wattel is one shot back at minus-9. Wattel was 7-under through 17 holes.

The second round will resume at 6:45 a.m. local time on Saturday.

Coetzee collected seven birdies in a bogey-free round, and four of those birdies came on holes that he also birdied in the first round.

For the second day in a row, Coetzee dropped in back-to-back birdie efforts at two and three to move to minus-7. After four pars in a row, he birdied the eighth for the second straight round.

The South African cruised around the turn with three pars in a row from the ninth. He birdied the par-4 12th and came right back with his second birdie in two days at the 13th.

Coetzee, who is looking for his first tour title, birdied the par-5 15th and par-3 17th to move to 12-under. He parred the last to end there.

"I enjoyed it. I haven't had this much fun in a long time. It's always nice to play well and it goes both ways, the better you play, the more you enjoy it," stated Coetzee, who tied for 42nd at the Africa Open two weeks ago. "I hit the ball nicely and hit a lot of fairways. I also hit a lot of greens and made a lot of putts, and that was the key. There's a lot of golf left. I felt like I've started playing better over the last few weeks."

Tullo carded back-to-back birdies from the third and again from the seventh to move to minus-9. He rolled in a 12-foot birdie effort at the 13th, then closed his round with a birdie at the last to end one back.

"I played very well again. I played well from tee to green, putted well and all-around I played very consistently. I'm very happy that I produced such a solid round," Tullo said. "That siren sounded just after we finished, and that's the best thing that can happen to you."

Van Der Walt got off to a flying start with four birdies in his first five holes. After three pars, he birdied the 18th to make the turn at 9-under.

After pars on one and two, Van Der Walt dropped in a birdie try at the third. He birdied the par-3 fifth to get within one before play was called for the day.

NOTES: Coetzee's best European Tour finish was in 2009, when he tied for 12th at the Joburg Open ... Play was suspended at 4:37 p.m. local time ... Darren Clarke (73) will likely make the cut on the number at minus-2, while Jose Maria Olazabal stands at minus-1 with two holes remaining, and former U.S. Open champ Michael Campbell stands at plus-3 with five holes remaining.

03/01 12:47:28 ET

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