SCOTT Jamieson is on course to cement his top spot in the 2013 Race to Dubai after moving into the top ten at the halfway stage of the Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.
Home favourite Charl Schwartzel and Frenchman Gregory Bourdy moved four shots clear of the field on 13-under-par after carding second-round scores of 64 and 65 respectively.
But Jamieson, winner of the Nelson Mandela Championship last weekend, has his sights on a second successive big pay-day after a 68 left him tied for eighth on six-under.
The 29-year-old from East Kilbride followed up his opening 70 with a five-birdie effort, picking up three of those strokes in the opening six holes at Malelane.
David Drysdale is tied for 30th on three-under after a second-day 72 that included four birdies and four bogeys, while George Murray, Peter Whiteford and Marc Warren also made the cut thanks to improved efforts.
Murray, second in this event last year but only playing this week through an invitation after losing his card at the end of last season, confirmed his liking for the course by carding a 69.
It moved Murray on to two-under, tied for 39th, while fellow Fifer Whiteford jumped to 52nd on one-under after a 68 that was highlighted by an eagle-2 at the 14th and also contained three birdies.
Warren, whose opening effort contained a damaging double-bogey 7 at the second, made the cut with nothing to spare after a four-birdie 71 left him sharing 60th on level-par.
The four other Scots in the field all made early exits, with Callum Macaulay (72) and Craig Lee (71) missing out by two shots on two-over.
Rookie Scott Henry carded a fine 68 but even that wasn’t good enough to repair the damage from his opening 80, the Clydebank man finishing on four-over.
It was the opposite way around for South African-based Alan McLean, who followed a first-day 72 with a 78 to bow out on six-over.
Schwartzel looks the man to beat in the final 36 holes after the South African maintained his recent sizzling form.
After finishes of fifth, third and second in the past month, the 2011 Masters champion won the Thailand Championship by 11 shots last Sunday.
He was 25-under-par there and is on course to go low again on a course where his record includes one win and four second places.
“It was there for the taking and luckily enough I took advantage early on,” Schwartzel said after grabbing an eagle and six birdies and keeping a bogey off his card for the second day running.
“I could have made a few more, but we can’t get too greedy. All in all a very good round and I’ve put myself in a very good position.”
Schwartzel is 73 under for his last four-and-a-half tournaments and even after adding a 65 to his pacesetting opening 66 Bourdy did not under-estimate the size of the task facing him over the weekend.
“Charl is a great player, one of the best in the world,” the 30-year-old world No 184 said. “You have to do the job over four rounds and that is difficult. But I’m feeling great and I’ve played two good rounds.”
After being overtaken when Schwartzel played his first 11 holes in seven under, making his eagle at the 541-yard 18th, three-time European Tour winner Bourdy pitched in for an eagle-2 on the sixth and converted curling 25-foot birdie putts at the fifth and eighth.