Cabrera takes lead as power game fires course record

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The Independent Online

Angel Cabrera's power hitting blew away the rest of the field in Sun City, South Africa, to take a one-shot lead in the Nedbank Golf Challenge yesterday. The Argentinian began the day four shots off Darren Clarke's five-under-par benchmark but by the end of his round had moved two ahead of the Ulsterman.

Cabrera, the longest hitter on the European Tour, took a driver at nearly every hole and destroyed the testing Gary Player Country Club lay-out with a eight-under course-record round of 64. He had nine birdies and dropped only one shot, at the fourth - ironically, one of the shortest holes on the course. Cabrera had a great run around the turn with six birdies in seven holes from the ninth, with the 603-yard 14th providing a great example of hisstrength.

His drive left him just over 200 yards to the pin. He hit an eight-iron to within 15 feet and was only inches away with his eagle putt. On a course which measures nearly 8,000 yards Cabrera never used more than a six-iron for any approach shot.

The next best round was from Luke Donald, playing alongside the Argentinian, who had a bogey-free 68 to leave him six under, three off the lead.

Colin Montgomerie shot a flawless 66 in the Hong Kong Open yesterday to end the day four shots behind the halfway leader, Rick Gibson of Canada. With Paul Casey missing the cut and Thomas Bjorn off the pace after four-putts at the 17th, Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen is the only other European Tour winner in the top 10.

Starting from the 10th, Montgomerie birdied the 12th and 17th and, after a run of seven straight pars, picked up further shots at the seventh and ninth. Gibson added a second-round 66 to his opening 65 to lead on nine under par, the 44-year-old finishing one shot ahead of the former American Walker Cup player Edward Loar with Sweden's Martin Erlandsson a shot further back in third.

England's Andrew Butterfield had a round of 65 to move to six under.

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