Michael extends lead to two at Euro opener

Anthony Michael

Anthony Michael

MALELANE, South Africa – South African newcomer Anthony Michael shot a 3-under 69 at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Friday, extending his lead to two shots in the European Tour’s 2011 season opener.

Michael had six birdies and three bogeys to finish the second round at 9-under 135 at Leopard Creek Country Club.

Alex Haindl (66) and Dawie van der Walt (70) of South Africa and Robert Rock (70) of England were tied for second.

Haindl had two eagles and two birdies to rocket 26 places up the leaderboard.

British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen missed the cut at 3 over following a second-round 71. Oosthuizen, the highest ranked player in the field at No. 24, opened with a 76 Thursday.

Michael is searching for his first professional win in his first season on South Africa’s Sunshine Tour, which co-sanctions the tournament. The 25-year-old began with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11, and picked up four shots in his first eight holes.

But he bogeyed No. 18, his ninth, and No. 9, his last, to settle for a 69 that built on his one-stroke, first-round advantage.

“I think I hit four fairways today,” Michael said, “which is one better than yesterday. But I am not really worried about the bush – it’s around all the fairways anyway. I feel pretty comfortable standing over the ball.”

Norway’s Marius Thorp was alone in fifth at 6-under 138 despite slipping to a double-bogey 7 on No. 15 – a hole he birdied Thursday.

Defending champion Pablo Martin of Spain was one of six players tied for sixth at 5 under.

South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel was the highest-ranked player left at No. 39 after a second straight 70 left him in a six-way tie for 12th.

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