Tight Race in South Africa

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- France's Raphael Jacquelin fired a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the second-round lead of the dunhill championship. He stands at 13-under-par 131 to establish a new 36-hole record for this event.
 
Peter Lawrie, last year's European Tour Rookie of the Year, posted the low round of the tournament with an 8-under 64 at Houghton Golf Club. He is tied for second place with Marcel Siem, who shot a second-round 67, at 12-under-par 132.
 
Friday's weather was very different than Thursday's. Rain pelted Houghton Golf Club all day Thursday but Friday was dry and ideal for low scoring.
 
Jacquelin opened with three birdies on his first nine but finished with four birdies on his second nine to close out his bogey-free round of 65. On the back nine, Jacquelin's putts ran in length from 18 feet at the 10th hole to a tap-in at No. 16.
 
Jacquelin is trying to sustain momentum he gained from the 2003 campaign on the European Tour when he finished 20th on the final Order of Merit. He is still in search of his first victory on tour but thanks to a tie for fifth at last week's South African Airways Open, the Frenchman thinks this could be the week.
 
'I'm just trying to keep up that form,' said the 29-year-old Jacquelin. 'I hit the ball better than in the first round. I was hitting more fairways and greens and holing more putts today, which is good for the confidence.'
 
Jacquelin bested Ernie Els' former 36-hole record by a shot. Els set the mark of 132 in 1996 that was tied five times, including by Lawrie and Siem in this week's edition.
 
Lawrie collected six birdies through 15 holes but his play on the final two par-5s, 16 and 18, completed his round. On both holes, Lawrie drove into the woods but was able to hit through the trees and give himself looks at birdies. He holed a 10-footer and four-footer, respectively, to put himself in solid position for his first victory on tour.
 
'I'm certainly not going to be counting my chickens before they hatch,' admitted Lawrie. 'I think it'll take at least 20-under to win this tournament.'
 
Lawrie had other things on his mind Friday, namely a leg injury that flamed up when he woke up this morning.
 
'I seem to have hurt my ankle,' said Lawrie. 'It's like an Achilles tendon injury. It was very sore all day. I felt it when I got out of bed this morning and I can assure you I wasn't jumping out of bed.'
 
Siem, one of three co-leaders after Thursday's opening round, tallied six birdies in his first 10 holes to pull into first place. He dropped shots at 12 and 14 to fall off the pace but a birdie at the par-5 16th got him within one of the lead.
 
The German is one of three players around the top of the leaderboard who could make this win No. 1 on the European Tour.
 
'I am a little nervous but I know I shouldn't be because all the big players who win tournaments don't allow themselves to get nervous on the course, he said. 'I will try and work on that aspect tonight and I am really looking forward to tomorrow.'
 
Alan McLean, the second co-leader from Thursday, shot a 4-under 68 and shares fourth place with Soren Hansen, who posted a 5-under 67 on Friday. The duo is knotted at 11-under-par 133.
 
Titch Moore is alone in sixth place at minus-10.
 
Anders Hansen, the final co-leader from the first round, only managed a 2-under 70 on Friday. He is tied for seventh with Gregory Havret (69) and Mads Vibe-Hastrup (68) at 9-under-par 135.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 3-under-par 141 and 2003 winner Mark Foster made the cut on the number.
 

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