Law settles into leading groove at SA Stroke Play

David Law made a late bogey in the second round of the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at the Mount Edgecombe No 1 course, but the Scotsman had done enough to hold on to the clubhouse lead with a five-under-par 67.

At 13-under-par 131, the overnight leader finished four shots clear of Stephen Pienaar and is five ahead of Daniel Hammond. Pienaar eagled the 18th on the way to a 66 and Hammond began his flawless round of 65 with an eagle at the par-4 10th.

South Africa’s number three Ruan de Smidt signed for a 70 to stay in touch with the leader at five under and CJ du Plessis is one back after also finishing on 70.

Law hoped to capitalise on his opening 64 in the gentle conditions this morning, but his putter didn’t deliver at any distance past 15-feet.

“Conditions were a wee bit calmer out there today,” he said. “The wind was different and it kept us on our toes. I was very solid from tee to green and didn’t put myself into any trouble. Just the putter was a little cold. I’m playing nice, but it could have been lower.”

Although Law described his round was pretty boring compared to the eagle and hole-in-one the first round dished up, he was still delighted to be leading.

“You want to go out there and try to get yourself as far away from the field as possible, so it’s a great place to be. It’s certainly something to build on for the last two rounds.”

Law may believe he has done enough to put space between himself and the field, but his closest pursuers are determined to put pressure on the Scotsman.

“My goal was to shoot 10 under for the two rounds, so I’m one off the mark,” said 19-year-old Pienaar, who plays out of Maccauvlei.

“I was lying second last year after three rounds, but I choked a little on the final day. I was new to the circuit and I guess my nerves got the better of me. This year I hope I can put the experience I gained the past year into practice and really challenge over the last two days.”

Hammond represented South Africa in the two day Test against France last week. The Wanderers player said the eagle gave him the boost he needed at the start of his round.

“I hit got this round off to a good start; hit driver, nine-iron straight into the hole,” he said. “I wasn’t hitting it as well as in the first round, but I made all the crucial putts and managed not to drop a shot.

“Keeping my card bogey-free for the next two rounds will be key to a good finish.”

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