Moore steadies nerve to lead

Titch moore overcame a nervous start to lead by two shots at the half-way stage of the South African Open in Durban yesterday.

Titch moore overcame a nervous start to lead by two shots at the half-way stage of the South African Open in Durban yesterday.

At first the South African, known for making spectacular first-round scores before fading, played as if his reputation had preceded him. He twice found the bunker on the third and the sixth, dropping a shot on each and while he birdied the seventh with a wedge, his tee shot on the ninth landed under heavy brush.

But Moore put his head down and took four birdies on the back nine to post a respectable 70 on a difficult day. He leads by two from another local player, Hendrik Buhrmann, who shot 67 to end on seven under.

English hopes were dashed when Malcolm Mackenzie had a nightmare round for a 76. But Graeme Storm on five under and Neil Cheetham a shot back provided some resistance.

The Ryder Cup player Darren Clarke had a frustrating day and would have missed the cut had he not sunk a 30-foot monster putt for an eagle on the 18th to sneak in the back door.

* In New York state, the US Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman launched his bid for a playing role with a 10-under-par 62 in the first round of the Buick Invitational. He led by a shot from Dean Wilson while Ernie Els was in a group of three on seven under.

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