Otto still in control

Hennie Otto leads by one but is chased by the Bjorn, Owen, Howell and Wessels as Clarke bows out...

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Martin Park
Sat, 27 Jan 2001

Hennie Otto takes a one shot lead into the third round of the Mercedes Benz South African Open with a second round 70 to add to his opening 65 at the East London GC.

Otto leads compatriot Roger Wessels and Mansfield’s Greg Owen who are on 8-under par for two rounds.

Wessels, who graduated from Q-School fired a 69 around the hilly course and Owen, who is using a foam insert in his left shoe to keep him upright after he discovered that his left leg was 7mm shorter than his right, also shot 69 to maintain his challenge for his maiden European Tour win.

A further shot off the pace was Germany’s Tobias Dier after a second round of 66 to move alongside Welshman Bradley Dredge who shot a two under par 70.

But some more famous names are also in the fray with Swindon’s David Howeel and Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn climbing up the leaderboard.

Both Howell and Bjorn ratled off five unde par 67’s to challenge for the weekend.

But Ulsterman Darren Clarke, seemingly out of form this week will have the weekend off thanks to two miserable rounds. Clarke bowed out with an 11-over par total with a second-round 78 to his opening 77.

"I had nine holes where I played well on thursday; on Friday I had none," admitted Clarke, reportedly being paid £70,000 to play this week.

"I hit the ball poorly, didn't deserve to make the cut and got my just rewards.

"It's obviously not what I was hoping for, and there is a lot of work to be done."



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