JOHANNESBURG – Charl Schwartzel shot a 7-under 65 Friday to earn a share of the lead at the European Tour's season-opening South African Open.
The 2011 Masters champion had five birdies and an eagle in his opening nine en route to a 12-under 132. Marco Crespi (67) joined him in the lead after two rounds at Glendower Golf Club.
Morten Orum Madsen (66) was a shot behind the leaders.
Overnight leader Matthew Nixon (72) slipped into a tie for seventh and two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (71) was tied for 12th, five shots back.
Schwartzel had the round of the day despite slipping slightly on the back nine, where three bogeys prevented him from taking a commanding lead at his home tournament – where he has never won.
''I holed some nice putts and played some great shots to turn in 7 under,'' he said. ''It looked like it could be a really low one at one stage.''
Crespi set the early pace with six birdies and a bogey. Madsen was alone in third and Christiaan Basson was fourth, another shot back at 10 under. Nixon, who had an opening-round 64, shared seventh at 8 under after a double bogey on the par-4 No. 10.
Goosen, the South African Open champion in 2005, had an eagle on No. 15, but a double bogey at No. 5. He had an opening-round 66.
Schwartzel's younger brother, Attie, trails his more famous sibling by six shots.