It was an all-South African affair in Fourways as no less than five South Africans found themselves in the leading top 10 players after round two of the Steyn City Championship ahead of moving day at The Club at Steyn City.
With all eyes on James-Hart Du Preez following his sensational round one of 63 which included two eagles, Norris, who teed off in the afternoon this time – and following a strong first-round himself – produced an even better showing on Friday, carding an untainted 10-under 62 to take a three-shot lead at 18-under-par at the halfway mark of this 72-hole international event.
Co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the DP World Tour, the Steyn City Challenge teed off on Thursday and from the onset, the strong South African contingent made its presence felt with Du Preez taking the lead in spectacular fashion.
The story continued on Friday as Norris waltzed his way to an unblemished 62 to back up his round-one 64, and snatch the lead from the towering Du Preez in the process. Norris made his gains on the second, the sixth, seventh and the ninth holes of the front nine holes as he announced a clear intention to play himself into contention early on ahead of the weekend.
He didn’t let up after the birdie on nine, as he got himself a brace of birdies on 10 and 11 to work his way up the leaderboard. And then, after three pars, Norris found a purple patch of sorts and made a birdie on 15, an eagle on 16 and then another birdie on 17 to seal a leaderboard-topping round of 62 which sees him three shots clear going into moving day.
Du Preez had to do with the second spot after 36 holes even though his bogey-free 66 was as solid as you’d expect. Teeing off earlier than Norris did in round two, Du Preez knew any score that was under par would go a long way in keeping him among the leading players going into the weekend in Fourways. And so his reply was a bogey-free six-under 66 which was characterised by four birdies on the front and two more on the homeward nine.
He is on a 15-under so far this week and trails Norris by three.
The third spot went to fellow South African, Dean Burmester after round two, as the big-hitter bested his opening round of 66 by one to move to third at 13-under and just four off the pace.
Burmester did drop shots on the par-three fifth and the 18th but his back-to-back eagles on the 10th, a par-five and 11 which is a par-four hole were his highlights of the day.
Oliver Bekker carded the lowest round of the day as he replicated Du Preez 63 to catapult himself to a share of fourth with Denmark’s Joachim B Hansen and Sweden’s Sebastien Soderberg on a total of 12-under after 36 holes.
Hennie du Plessis’ 67 on day two sees him in a share of seventh alongside Mikko Korhonen of Finland, France’s Romain Langasque, Italian Nino Bertasio and Denmark’s Niklas Norgaard Moller at 11-under-par.