Els leads in South Africa; to play 36 Sunday

Ernie Els during Round 2 of the South African Open.
Ernie Els during Round 2 of the South African Open. ( Getty Images )

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DURBAN, South Africa – Four-time winner Ernie Els took a two-shot lead into a marathon last day of the South African Open, after the country’s biggest stars rose into contention on Saturday for the 100th national title.

Els’ second straight 65, a flawless second round of 7-under par, lifted him to the top of the leaderboard at 14-under 130, two strokes clear of Retief Goosen, who finished with a 68.

That means South Africa’s big two - Els and Goosen - will play the final 36 holes Sunday with 19-year-old Frenchman Romain Wattel, who turned professional after he won a European Challenge Tour event as an amateur in his hometown of Strasbourg in September.

Wattel carded a 6-under 66 to lie third, one stroke behind Goosen.