Christiaan Bezuidenhout hung on grimly in the weather-interrupted second round of the Olympic Games golf competition on Friday with a two-under-par total through 17 holes at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan putting him in a share of 15th.
At five-under-par just ahead of the 36-hole mark, that left him six shots off the pace set by Xander Schauffele of the United States who vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with a superb eight-under-par 63. The American had two eagles, six birdies and two bogeys in his round and finished up with a one-stroke lead over Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz who fired a four-under 67 to move to 10-under.
Much like in his first round, Bezuidenhout picked up just one shot on the front nine, this time on the 337-metre par-four sixth, but he made bogey on the 422-metre par-four 11th. And, as he did in his first round, he birdied the 13th and the 15th, and then parred the 16th and 17th.
Garrick Higgo had a double-bogey sixth on the 476-metre ninth, and he 3nded up signing for a second consecutive level-par 71, leaving him in a share of 47th in the 60-man field and with plenty of work to do.
Rory Sabbatini, now playing for Slovakia, had a four-under 67 in the second round, and he moved to six-under for the tournament and a share of 11th.
Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent also had a 67, and he is two-under for the tournament in a share of 34th.
Behind Schauffele and Ortiz was a group of four players on eight-under, three back of the lead. Mito Pereira of Chile, Alex Noren of Sweden and first-round leader Sepp Straka of Austria had all completed their rounds, and hometown hero Hideki Matsuyama, the Masters champion, was on six-under through 16 as he makes a medal move.