Schwartzel shining in Malaysia
Charl Schwartzel was living up to his billing as pre-tournament favourite in the weather-delayed Maybank Malaysian Open on Friday.
Schwartzel, who won back-to-back tournaments in December last year by a combined total of 23 shots, was four under par after 11 holes of his first round when thunderstorms forced play to be abandoned for the day.
The South African was among 78 players who resumed play this morning at 7.45am local time and completed an opening 67 in style, chipping in for a birdie on the 18th.
That left the 2011 US Masters champion two shots off the clubhouse lead held by Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, but it did not take him long to wipe out that deficit when the second round got under way.
Starting from the 10th, Schwartzel birdied his first two holes and picked up two more shots on the 17th and 18th to be out in 32, while further birdies followed on the third and fifth.
At 11 under par he now led by three shots from China's Ashun Wu, with Aphibarnrat a shot further back and yet to start his second round.
Scotland's Scott Jamieson, who was one off the lead after completing an opening 66, remained six under after three birdies and three bogeys in 13 holes of his second round.
World number three Luke Donald, who needed a major improvement on his opening 74 to make the cut, was among the later starters.
Just as Schwartzel was threatening to run away from the field again, he dropped two shots in a row on the sixth and seventh and had to settle for a round of 68.
That gave him a halfway total of nine under par and a share of the clubhouse lead with Wu, who had also returned a 68 with five birdies and just one bogey.
Scotland's Alastair Forsyth was two off the lead with three holes of his second round to play after picking up four birdies.
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