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Lawrie Moves into First in Nedbank Golf Challenge


Paul Lawrie carded a 3-under 69 to move into the lead at the halfway point of the Nedbank Golf Challenge. The $1 million, 12-man event began Thursday at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.

After opening with a 71, the 43-year-old Scot stands at 4-under 140, one stroke ahead of Martin Kaymer, who also shot a 69 on a blustery day. Lawrie and Kaymer were the only players to break 70 Friday.

"The course is demanding," said Lawrie, who carded four birdies and a birdie. "You have to drive the ball very well and keep the ball in play to give yourself a chance to get it close to the pin. It's a great golf course. So far, so good but a long way to go."

Kaymer seconded Lawrie's remark about the Gary Player layout playing difficult. "Three-under par is a very good score on this golf course," the German said.

First-round co-leader Bill Haas of the U.S. shot a 73 to fall into a tie for third at 143 with Italy's Francesco Molinari (71) and South African's Louis Oosthuizen (72) and Charl Schwartzel (71).

Alone in seventh at even-par 144 is defending champion Lee Westwood (73) of England, while another shot back is Sweden's Peter Hanson (73) and seven out of the lead is Swede Carl Pettersson (75).

Tied for 10th at 4-over are South African Garth Mulroy (73) and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts. The 18-hole co-leader with Haas, Colsaerts followed up his opening 70 with a 78. In last place at 8-over is Justin Rose. The Brit carded the highest round in the tournament so far, a 7-over 79.

For complete scoring details, visit http://www.nedbankgolfchallenge.com/leaderboard.aspx.