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Coetzee holds clubhouse lead on stormy day at Tshwane Open

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Associated Press
3/1/2013 1:17:34 PM
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CENTURION, South Africa -- Charl Coetzee of South Africa shot a 7-under 65 to hold the clubhouse lead by one stroke when a thunderstorm halted play Friday in the second round of the Tshwane Open.

Coetzee holed four birdies in his closing seven holes to reach 12 under on the Els Club course at Copperleaf Golf Estate. Mark Tullo of Chile shot a 66, while Dawie Van Der Walt of South Africa was also at 11 under after 14 holes in co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour event.

Former U.S. amateur champion Peter Uihlein birdied three of his closing four holes in a 66 to sit at 10 under.

A total of 54 out of 156 players were unable to complete their round, including two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain, who needs to birdie one of his closing two holes to make the cut.

Coetzee, who turns 32 on Monday, won 28 amateur victories before turning pro in 2007. But he was sidelined by a serious shoulder injury in 2010.

"I enjoyed it and I haven't had this much fun in a long time," Coetzee said. "It's always nice to play well and it goes both ways, as the better you play, the more you enjoy it.

"I hit the ball nicely and hit a lot of fairways. I also made a lot of greens and made a lot of putts, and that was the key."

Tullo, who only regained his Tour card this season, holed a 6-foot birdie on his last hole.

"I played very well again from tee to green, putted well and all-around I played very consistently, so I'm very happy that I produced such a solid round," he said. "That siren sounded just after we finished, and that's the best thing that can happen to you. To come back here early in the morning is not what you want to do.

"The tournament starts on the Sunday back nine and, as long as I'm in the hunt come Sunday, I'll be happy."

Charl Coetzee (Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images)
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