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Charl Schwartzel vaults in to the lead with a 61

Defending champion Charl Schwartzel, energised by swing tips from fellow South African golfer Hendrik Buhrmann, sprinted into a share of the Joburg Open second-round lead with a 10-under-par 61 on Friday.

Schwartzel, who will divide his time between the European and U.S. PGA tours this year, said Buhrmann’s advice helped him tie for the lead on 13-under 129 with Briton Jamie Elson (64) and South African Garth Mulroy (64).

“My swing hasn’t been good for quite a while and Hendrik came out and helped me after the pro-am (on Wednesday),” the world number 32 told reporters at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. “This is my lowest round in a tournament.

“Hendrik gave me some really good advice and he had footage of me from a year ago when I was playing really well. There were quite a few things out of place.

“Yesterday was trial and error and I had to grind hard for my 68 but today was a fantastic round. I was swinging quite a lot better and I hit some great long tee shots and iron shots,” added Schwartzel after his 10-birdie effort.

Mulroy reeled off seven birdies and an eagle in his round while Englishman Elson fired five successive birdies from the fifth hole.

Joint overnight leader Tyrone Mordt (68) and fellow South Africans Thomas Aiken (66) and James Kingston (62) were one stroke off the pace on 130.

“That was one of my best rounds ever,” said Kingston. “I put the ball in the perfect place just about every time and made a few putts but I was still a bit disappointed.

“My playing partner said he thought I was going to shoot 59 and a bogey at the last, my only one in 36 holes, left a sour taste in the mouth.”

The other joint overnight leader, South African Martin Maritz, was on 131 after a 69.

Play was suspended due to darkness with more than 20 competitors still out on the course after bad weather caused a near three-hour suspension earlier in the day.

Scores

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