The cream is risingon December 3, 2010
The old cliché of the cream rising to the top would seem to apply to the developments after the second round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Put another way, it is not for nothing that Lee Westwood occupies the number spot in golf, and although the tournament is only at the halfway stage, it is hard to imagine anyone catching him.
“I love this golf course; I’ve been coming here since 1998, I won the 2000 Dimension Data tournament here,” enthused Westwood after firing a blemish-free 64, which is a single shot shy of the course record. “I was well aware of the record – I played with Henrik (Stenson) when he shot 63 in the first round two years ago.” he added.
It would be unwise to label Westwood a “dead cert” to take the title, and he is well aware of the pitfalls of taking anything for granted. Breathing down his neck is Ross Fisher, who added a 68 to his opening 67, and with three players sharing the six-under mark on the leaderboard, (Edoardo Molinari, Miguel Jimenez and Padraig Harrington), the tournament is shaping up to be an intriguing scramble should Westwood falter.
Throughout the week, Fisher has been enormously impressive – one of the longest hitters in the field who has made few mistakes, and but for his three bogeys during the second round, he would have also been on the 12-under mark.
Most surprising was the scintillating vein of form that Molinari suddenly struck – the Italian star actually made two eagles on his way to a 67, which although bogey-free, could have been much better had he had some luck on the greens.
There is an old belief among the pros that anyone within 10 shots still has a chance at the halfway mark, which suggests that all but Louis Oosthuizen (currently on even par), could still make a charge worth $1.25 million.
Westwood did point out that the course is likely to become tougher over the weekend, with the layout being stretched and the greens becoming faster. The way he is playing, that is likely to benefit him, but he knows there is a lot of work to be done.