There were three South Africans at the top of the Malaysian Open leaderboard when a storm ended play prematurely on the second day.
Hennie Otto and Jbe’ Kruger share the lead after shooting 64 and 65 respectively to get to 9-under for the tournament. Louis Oosthuizen is in third one shot behind on 8-under, but only managed to complete 12 holes before rain stopped play.
“I think all of us (South Africans) are coming into this tournament with a little bit of form coming back,” said Kruger. “I spoke to Charl and he said he was struggling in the last couple of weeks. I was struggling as well so I guess we are just coming back into form.”
Overnight leader Charl Schwartzel said he enjoyed playing early in the first round as the jet-lag from travelling from America only hit him in the afternoon, which seems to be the case as he struggled to 3 over after 12 holes in the second round. He has dropped into a share of 12th on 5 under.
Otto’s 64 was bogey-less as he sunk eight birdies on the way to matching Schwartzel’s opening round 64.
What is even more extra-ordinary about Otto’s 64 is that it was only the second time he had played the course.
“I played the course blind yesterday because I was first reserve for the pro-am and was expecting to get into that and use it as my practice round but it didn’t happen,” he explained. “I walked the course on Wednesday so had an idea but it is obviously a lot different when you come to play it. I had never been here before so it was a decent start and then today I felt a lot more comfortable on the greens and made the putts which is the difference.
One man the charging South Africans will need to keep their eyes on is former world No 1 Martin Kaymer who has manoeuvred himself into position nicely with a second round 67 to reach 7 under for the tournament, only two shots off the lead.
“I played really well today and gave myself a lot of birdie chances,” said the German. “I had a good eagle chance on three and felt like a hit a lot of good putts but maybe just over-read the greens. But I am seven under for the tournament now which is good and I feel good about the game and if I can make a few more putts I feel I can really get into the tournament.