MALELANE, South Africa (AFP) - Superb chipping and putting made American David Lipsky the second-round leader in the EPGA Alfred Dunhill Championship on Friday (Dec 14) as title favourite Charl Schwartzel of South Africa missed the cut.
Lipsky carded a flawless 66 that included an eagle and four birdies over the par-72 Leopard Creek Country Club course that borders the Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa.
Lipsky shot a first-round 70 and his 136 halfway total earned him a one-stroke advantage over two Scots, Scott Jamieson (66) and Marc Warren (67).
The American is playing for the first time at Leopard Creek, where wild animals roam just metres from the course, and he is in a good position to become the first foreign winner of the event since Spaniard Pablo Martin eight years ago.
"I have always wanted to come here because I heard great things about the venue from almost everyone," said Lipsky.
"My chipping and putting have been amazing and I am looking forward to the next two rounds this weekend."
Another two Scots, David Drysdale (69) and Doug McGuigan (66), are one shot further back on 138 in the 2018/2019 European Tour event.
South African Oliver Bekker, whose opening 66 gave him the first-round lead, could only manage a 73 and is among six contenders three strokes behind Lipsky.
Major winner Louis Oosthuizen, who won the South African Open last Sunday, carded a 69 and is well placed on 140 to mount a title challenge this weekend.
Schwartzel, a four-time winner of this event, went round in 74 for a halfway total of 147 and missed the cut by one shot.
The former Masters champion has described the Leopard Creek course as his favourite in the world, but he didn't click this week with the redesigned layout.
Finn Kim Koivu carded a nine-birdie 65 - the lowest score of the first two rounds - to jump into contention on 140 after starting with a disappointing 75.