Wallie Coetsee Takes Lead at Joburg

Familiarity is turning out to be the best strategy to do well at the Joburg Open so far this week.

The top three players in the field are all natives of South Africa, with Wallie Coetsee taking over the lead after 36 holes thanks to his 6-under 65 on Friday, taking him to 12-under and giving him a 1-stroke lead at the halfway point.

Ranked 509th in the world, Coetsee leads by one stroke over three players – including countrymen Garth Mulroy and Tjaart Van Der Walt.

Coetsee was 1-under on the front nine, and added an eagle 3 on No. 15 and a birdie on 17.

The 42-year-old Coetsee has not finished higher than a tie for 49th so far this season in six events.

The fourth man in the mix is the UK’s Simon Dyson, also at 11-under after firing a 5-under 67 with five birdies on the first 10 holes.

Nowhere to be found in the top part of the leaderboard was Day 1 record-tying performer Nic Henning, who followed up his 62 on Thursday with a messy 78 on Friday to end up tied for 75th at 3-under.

Henning looked right on track to start the round with another birdie, but ran into trouble with four straight birdies between holes 5 and 8. He was 11 strokes worse on Friday (40) on the front nine than he had been on Thursday (29). He wasn’t much better on the back nine, with just one birdie, along with two bogeys and a double on No. 13.



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