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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 12:57 GMT
Els seizes command
Ernie Els plays out of a bunker in Perth
Els has won four of his last five tournaments
Friday's round-up

Johnnie Walker Classic

Ernie Els moved four shots clear of the field in the second round of the Johnnie Walker Classic after adding a 65 to his opening 64.

The world number two, leading by a shot overnight, comfortably overhauled England's Greg Owen and Australian Robert Allenby in Perth.

The South African started poorly with a bogey on his third hole, which he retrieved with a birdie on his seventh.

But a sparkling back nine of 29 featuring five birdies and an eagle put Els in sight of his fifth victory in six tournaments.

Leaderboard
-15 Ernie Els (Rsa)
-11 Greg Owen (Eng)
Robert Allenby (Aus)
-9 Stephen Leaney (Aus), Jean-Francois Remesy (Fra)
-8 Andre Stolz (Aus)

His homeward 29 - the same score he managed over his opening nine holes on Thursday - was sealed with a 33 foot birdie putt on the last.

"That was nice," he said. "I didn't expect that to go in.

"I wasn't trying to shoot a 29, it just happened. I guess I have to thank the architect."

Owen had set the early target at 11-under-par with a superb round of 64, which was later matched by Allenby.

Owen, who has finished in the top 40 of the European Order of Merit for the last three years, sank seven birdies and an eagle to surge ahead.

After pulling out of the Heineken Classic with a bad back and missing the cut at last week's ANZ Championship, he was delighted by his effort.

Greg Owen celebrates a birdie during his second round
Owen carded a superb 64

"I was a lot more consistent," he said. "I've just found a feeling in my swing which seems to get it going in the right direction. I've just got to keep trusting it now."

Defending champion Retief Goosen bounced back from a disappointing even-par opening round with a seven-under 65.

Denmark's Soren Hansen was earlier disqualified from the tournament after failing to turn up for his 9am tee-off.

Hansen had shot a five-over-par 77 in the first round and joined Ahmad Dan Bateman in being disqualified, after the Canadian signed a wrong scorecard for his first round.

Bateman signed for a four on the par-four fourth instead of a five - and as a result entered a score of three-over-par 75 instead of a 76.

Wayne Riley withdrew from the tournament with a bad back after his opening round of 78.

Ian Woosnam, suffering from bronchitis, carded a 71 to remain among the chasing pack at six under.

This week's golf from around the world

Daily round-up

GOLF STATISTICS
See also:

02 Feb 03 | Golf
13 Feb 03 | Golf
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