Charl Schwartzel fired a five-under-par 66 to climb into a share of seventh place at the Open Championship on Friday at Royal Troon. The Vereeniging resident had a strong start to his second round and played the first nine in 31 strokes to reach four-under-par.
The 2011 Masters champion made five birdies on the front side, which plays downwind and is the opportune half of the course.He took a bogey at the 10th and another at the 12th. The 31-year-old, despite the bad conditions, rebounded with birdies at the 13th and 14th before signing for 66, which was the second-best round of the day.
Schwartzel, with his brother Adrian on the bag, traded Nike for PXG this Tuesday. He shot a one-over-par 72 on Thursday and has quickly settled into the new equipment.
Other South Africans to make the cut were Richard Sterne (par), Branden Grace (+2), Zander Lombard (+3), and Haydn Porteous (+4). Ernie Els, Brandon Stone, George Coetzee, and Louis Oosthuizen missed out.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson set the tone with a 65 to take up sole second on nine-under-par, one shot behind midway leader Phil Mickelson.