Can SA duo make the most of moving day in Rio?

Australian Fraser maintained his lead at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Golf Course while South African golfers Jaco van Zyl and Brandon Stone will aim to make the most of moving day as they continued to struggle in the Olympic Men’s Golf Competition in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

Van Zyl could do no better than a three-over-par 74 to lie on three over after two rounds of the 72-hole contest and will start the third round 13 shots behind the blistering pace set by the Australian.

A second-round 72 left reigning SA Open champion Stone on five over and currently tied for 52nd in the 60-strong field.

However, low scores are there to be had and Fraser – with childhood friend Jason Wallis on the bag – lapped up the course in round one to set the mark at eight-under-par 63.

Fraser, who began round two with a three shot lead, birdied the third, fifth and 11th holes before bogeys at 12 and 16, but the Australian closed out the day with a birdie on the 18th to edge out Thomas Pieters from Belgium for the lead on 10 under 132.

The gap could have been even wider for the 38-year-old from Corowa in New South Wales, who had six makeable birdie putts lip the hole.

“I putted very similar to yesterday, it’s just the ball found a way to avoid the hole,” a content Fraser said. “That’s golf; it happens some days. Having my best mate there on my bag to have a chat to and laugh with, and laugh at, it’s been good fun. We are having a really great time out there.”

The unflappable Fraser will play in the last group with the big-hitting Belgian and 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson on Saturday.

“It won’t add to the pressure playing with Thomas and Henrik,” he said. “I’ll feel like I’m playing on my own as they will be 100m in front of me.”

Thomas signed off with a trio of birdies for a five-under-par 66 to finish in silver medal position, one shot ahead of Stenson.

The Swede started his round with a 58-foot birdie putt on the second green and holed a fabulous 109-foot putt for par at the third. Stenson, a former Nedbank Golf Challenge winner, birdied three of his last four holes to close with a three-under-par 68.

“In the beginning it was tough conditions, raining hard, and I just made some bombs and probably made the par of my life on the third hole,” Stenson said.

“Bit of a mixed bag out there, but I’m at the races. I’m happy where I’m at halfway through the tournament.”

France’s Gregory Bourdy and England’s Justin Rose are tied for fourth, four shots adrift of the leader. Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Graham DeLaet, Fabian Gomez and Danny Lee are in a four way tie for sixth on five under after 36 holes.


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