Moore Alone on Top in South Africa


European TourDURBAN, South Africa -- South Africa's Titch Moore carded a 2-under 70 on Friday to move to 9-under-par 135 and open a two-shot lead over fellow countrymen Tjaart van der Walt and Hendrik Buhrmann at the halfway point of the South African Airways Open.
Bruce Vaughan, who shared the overnight lead with Moore, struggled with a 73 in Round 2. The American joined South Africans Andrew McLardy and Louis Oosthuizen, and Gregory Havret of France at 6-under-par 138.
Moore, whose best finish on the European Tour is a tie for ninth at this event last year, tried to follow Thursday's brilliant 65 with a solid start, but the difficult layout on the front side at Durban Country Club cost him three bogeys along with a single birdie at the par-4 seventh.
'Around the turn I was just trying to hang in there because I wasn't playing that well,' said Moore.
The 28-year-old took advantage of the opportunities on the inward half, however, starting with a birdie at the par-4 13th. He followed that up with a birdie at the par-5 14th and added a birdie at the par-4 16th.
Moore then birdied the par-four 18th to pad his advantage heading into the weekend.
'I was trying to get my round back to even par to be honest so to get it to 2 under with a nice finish was good,' said Moore. 'You always prefer to finish well after starting badly rather than the other way round.'
Van der Walt, a member at Durban Country Club, found trouble early with a bogey at the par-3 second, but countered with an eagle at the very next hole. He stumbled again with a bogey at the fifth, but picked up a birdie at the eighth and another at the 10th to take the lead at 8 under.
He tallied a birdie at the 14th to reach 9 under, but his quest for the 36-hole lead was derailed by three straight bogeys starting at the par-3 15th. The 30-year-old salvaged what he could with a birdie at the last to complete a round of 71.
Buhrmann collected four birdies on a blemish-free front nine and kept on rolling with a birdie at the 10th that lifted him to 7 under. He faltered with a bogey at the 12th, but got that shot back with a birdie at the 14th.
The 41-year-old then bogeyed the 17th, but a birdie at the 18th was good for a round of 67.
Tim Clark, who won this event in 2002, managed a 71 to finish alongside Graeme Storm and Ross Wellington at 5-under-par 139.
The 36-hole cut fell at 2-over-par 146 with 77 players qualifying for the weekend. Darren Clarke hit his drive to the edge of the green at the short par-4 18th and drained the long eagle putt to make the cut on the number after a round of 74.
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