Eagle-eyed McGowan grabs Joburg Open lead

Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:11am EST
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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Ross McGowan carded two eagles on his way to a sparkling 62 and a three-shot lead after the second round of the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Friday.

Playing on the easier par-71 West course, Englishman McGowan sunk eagles on the 12th and 15th holes to go with six birdies for a tournament total of 14 under par. His only blemish was a bogey on the par-three eighth.

He leads by three shots from five players -- England’s Anthony Hall (67), Welshman Stuart Manley (67), home players Jean Hugo (65) and Haydn Porteous (66), and Chilean Felipe Aguilar (65).

Overnight leader Justin Walters could only manage a 69 and a tie for eighth, while home favorite Ernie Els, playing his first Joburg Open, just made the cut with a round of 70 that left him three under par for the tournament.

There is extra incentive for players this week -- the top three will gain entry into the 145th British Open at Royal Troon in July.

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond; nick.said@thomsonreuters.com; +27832722948; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: nick.said.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)