David Lipsky is looking for his second European Tour win after jumping into the lead in the $1.7 million Alfred Dunhill Championship. The Los Angeles native returned a bogey-free 6-under 66 to move to 8 under at the halfway stage.
Lipsky has a one-shot advantage over Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson of Scotland. Fellow Scots Doug McGuigan and David Drysdale share fourth place at 6 under.
Former Northwestern student Lipsky had four birdies and an eagle to reach the top of the leaderboard on his first trip to Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.
“I’ve never been here,” Lipsky said. “I’ve always wanted to come here. I’ve heard great things from almost every player and it’s turned out to be a great week so far.
“I played really well. I actually didn’t hit it that great today, but my putting and chipping was amazing. I got the job done and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Lipsky attained his breakthrough European Tour win four years ago when he emerged triumphant in the Omega European Masters. It earned him a two-year exemption and he hasn’t really looked back since. He managed two top 50 placings on the European money list in 2016 and 2017, coming close to another win when he was runner up in the 2017 Maybank Championship.
However, Lipsky dropped outside the top 100 last year. He placed 105th, just inside the all-important top 110 to retain his playing rights. No wonder he’s focused on getting back to the form that made him a Euro Tour winner and top 50 player.
“Distance off the tee has improved, a combination of things, the strength coach I have been working with and a new swing coach as well,” he said. “I’ve been really retuning my game and it looks like it’s paying off.”
It will do if he manages to hold on over the next 36 holes and take the $270,000 first-place check to secure his Euro playing rights to the end of 2020.
Former Augusta State player Jamieson is also looking for his second Euro Tour win, and second in South Africa after the 2013 Nelson Mandela Championship. Three-time winner Warren failed to retain his card at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season, but is playing this campaign after regaining it at the Qualifying School last month.