By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 12/01/18 4:45pm
Chris Paisley produced a late birdie blitz to claim a share of the halfway lead as Retief Goosen’s challenge stuttered on the final hole at the BMW SA Open.
Paisley hit back from a mistake at the 13th to birdie four of the last five holes and card a seven-under 65 which set the early clubhouse target at 13-under par, a score later matched when Adrien Saddier finished birdie-eagle-birdie to hand in a 63.
The leading pair have a commanding four-shot advantage over the field, while Goosen goes into the weekend five off the pace after two poor chips on the final hole cost him a double-bogey six.
Paisley, who retained his European Tour card by finishing second on the Access List last season, cruised to the turn in 34 and then birdied the 10th and 12th before his errant drive at the long next found water.
The Englishman was unable to save par, but he repaired the damage with back-to-back birdies before nailing a pair of 15-foot putts for further gains on each of the final two greens to go one lower than his opening round.
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The 31-year-old soon had company in the clubhouse lead when Saddier completed 36 holes without a single bogey on his card, reeling off four birdies in five holes on the back nine before finishing in style with further birdies at seven and nine either side of an eagle-three as he converted a superb second to six feet.
Qualifying School graduate Jacques Kruyswijk is alone in third after the South African returned a seven-birdie 67 to move to nine under, with Goosen sharing fourth with overnight leaders Branden Grace and Chase Koepka.
The two-time US Open champion, who turns 49 next month, produced an outstanding front nine as he followed three birdies in four holes with an eagle at the eighth, and he added another at 10 before getting into trouble at the long 13th and running up a six.
Goosen got back on track with birdies at the 14th and 16th, but his hopes of landing a third SA Open title took a knock at the last when he chunked his first pitch and came up 12 feet short with his second before two-putting for a double-bogey six and a round of 67.
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel needed two late birdies to salvage a 70 which leaves him eight strokes behind the leaders, while tournament host Ernie Els was also two under for the day but 10 shots back at the halfway stage.
But there was huge disappointment for Graeme Storm, who pipped Rory McIlroy to the title in a tense play-off last year but missed the cut 12 months later – his two-under 70 proving one shot too many to extend his defence