Wallie Coetsee takes one-shot lead

Wallie Coetsee of South Africa acknowledges his home crowd after shooting a 65. Picture: Getty
Wallie Coetsee of South Africa acknowledges his home crowd after shooting a 65. Picture: Getty
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Halfway leader Wallie Coetsee hopes his daughters will be able to follow his progress in the Joburg Open this weekend – even if it means having to watch on a neighbour’s television.

Coetsee revealed he does not own a TV after adding a 65 to his opening 66 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, his 12-under-par total giving the world No 509 a one-shot lead over fellow South Africans Garth Mulroy and Tjaart van der Walt and England’s Simon Dyson.

It would be great to qualify for the Open, but that is a big bonus

Wallie Coetsee

“When we moved to Jeffreys Bay two and a half years ago, we decided to get rid of our television,” Coetsee said. “So if Zoe and Kelly want to watch, I hope my wife Ashley takes them to a friend’s place.

“Life is so much simpler, especially without television. We’re in bed early and we read a lot of books. And we’re up early, walking on the beach before we take the kids to school.

“I can also practice early and I play out at Zwartenbosch Golf and Lifestyle Estate. It’s quiet there. I have the nine-hole course to myself on Mondays and Tuesdays, there are competitions on Wednesdays, and I have it to myself again on Thursdays. It’s like I’ve got my own course.”

Asked about leading one of South Africa’s biggest events, which also has three places in the Open Championship at St Andrews up for grabs, the 42-year-old added: “Somebody must wake me up; it feels like a dream. It would be great (to qualify for the Open), but that is a big bonus. First thing is to wake up tomorrow and enjoy this ride.”

Seven of the top ten completed their second rounds on the harder East Course yesterday, including Dyson, who fired six birdies and one bogey in his 67.

Dyson has won six times on the European Tour but missed the cut in his first three events this season and has a best finish of joint 50th so far in 2015.

“I didn’t play as good as yesterday [Thursday], but I scored pretty well,” he said. “I made four birdies on the front nine and I birdied the par fives – if you get your drives away then they’re all pretty good chances.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been up there. I’ve been playing all right, but at the beginning of the season I changed my irons and they were costing me dearly – I didn’t have a clue how far they were going. This is the first week I’ve put my old set back in the bag and all of a sudden I’m hitting it pin high again; that makes a heck of a difference.”

Mulroy and Van der Walt recorded scores of 68 and 69 respectively to join Dyson on 11 under, with former Ryder Cup player Niclas Fasth and England’s Anthony Wall a shot behind.

A flawless 63 from Alex Noren – the lowest score of the day – lifted the Swede into joint seventh on nine under with ten players a shot further back on a crowded leaderboard.

Scott Henry leads the Scottish challenge on seven under after a 71, with Sean Jacklin (69), son of double major winner and former Ryder Cup captain Tony, a further stroke back. Andrew McArthur sits at five under par but Craig Lee, Chris Doak, David Drysdale and Bradley Neil missed the cut.

In Florida, the second round of the Honda Classic was delayed by nearly four hours because of rain. The weather delay came after the opening round was blighted by strong winds.

Playing in America for the first time this year, Rory McIlroy was one of the many to struggle as gusts approached 35mph.

McIlroy managed to salvage a tough first day by holing a 30-foot birdie putt and two-putting for birdie on the 18th hole for a three-over-par 73, a score matched by Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher.

World No 1 McIlroy was competing for the first time since he won in Dubai a month ago. He played with Dustin Johnson, who birdied his last two holes for a 77, and Brooks Koepka, who shot a 78.

“The conditions were obviously very tricky from the start,” McIlroy said. “From the first hole, it was always going to be a day like that. I feel like I salvaged something out of the round the last couple holes, but it was just a day to keep trying, not to give up and know that anything around level, one, two-over par still isn’t out of it.”

Only 19 players managed to break par, including Jim Herman whose five-under 65 gave him a one-shot lead, and Scotland’s Russell Knox who was four strokes adrift of Herman after an opening 69.