David Frost hit a course record 63 to finish one shot adrift of the leader, Retief Goosen, in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill PGA Championship in Johannesburg yesterday.
Goosen held a one-shot lead over fellow South African Frost and the first- round leader, Thomas Gogele, at the halfway point with a 13-under aggregate of 131 after adding a second-round 66 to his opening 65. But such was the grip the professionals held on the Houghton course where the heat, altitude and lack of rough made par almost a mockery that the cut was made at four-under 140 and 77 players managed that.
Massimo Scarpa, who added a 68 to his opening 65, was one shot adrift of Frost and Gogele alongside Nick Price. "The heat made it a little difficult to select the right club and I was a bit balky with the putter," Price said after carding a 66. "But when I got here and saw what Frosty and Goose had done to the course, I knew I had to make a good score or I would leave myself too much to do over the weekend."
Frost, who began the day five shots behind Gogele, finished birdie, eagle, birdie, eagle for a staggering homeward nine of 28. Playing the back nine first, he was one under after a birdie at the par-four 11th from three metres. He dropped a shot at the next to three putt and retrieved it at the par-five 14th, where he lipped out for eagle from six metres.
Then, using a new driving technique, Frost earned birdies at the second and third holes before gaining six shots from par in the closing four holes. "My ball striking was fantastic from the start, so I knew I just had to get the putter working, which is what happened on the second nine," he said.
Jose Maria Olazabal, 31, hopes to emerge from 18 months of pain and depression when he reappears on the tour at the Dubai Desert Classic starting next Thursday. The 1994 US Masters champion, who has not played since September 1995 because of problems with his right foot.
Twenty-five years after Nick Faldo became English amateur champion at the age of 18 at Royal Lytham, the club will stage the championship again as part of the English Union's millennium celebrations.
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