Johannesburg, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Andy Sullivan carded a second-round, 2-under 70 on Friday and he will take a 1-shot lead into the weekend at the South African Open Championship.
Sullivan, who finished the first round tied atop the leaderboard with Jbe Kruger, finished 36 holes at 8-under-par 136. The Englishman has never won on the European Tour.
"When I get in these positions I find myself enjoying it more," Sullivan said. "It's where you want to be, you practice to be in these situations and I am playing with the guys I always wanted to as a kid. It's fantastic."
South African Charl Schwartzel fired a 3-under 69 at Glendower Golf Club, which was good enough to put him alone in second place at 7-under 137.
Also playing on their home soil, JJ Senekal (67) and Colin Nel (70) are tied for third at 6-under 138 with Lasse Jensen (71).
Kruger struggled on day two, finishing with an 8-over 80, dropping him all the way into a tie for 58th at 2-over 146, just putting him above the cut line.
Five-time champion Ernie Els began the day tied for second and just one shot back, but he also ran into trouble and shot a 5-over 77. The 45-year-old South African is tied for 36th at even-par 144.
Starting on the back nine, Sullivan picked up where he left off on Thursday, starting with a par on 10 before pouring in back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12. Following four straight pars from No. 13, Sullivan drained his third gain on 17 and made the turn with a par on 18.
Much like the first round, Sullivan struggled a bit on the first nine at Glendower Golf Club on Friday. After making four more pars from No. 1, Sullivan bogeyed two of his next three holes on five and seven. He finished strong, however, with a birdie on eight and a par on nine to grab the outright lead.
"I thought it was going to be a really good knock on the front line, but a few little errant drives meant the rough got its payback on me today," said Sullivan. "But anything in red figures is good so I am really happy with the position I am in."
Schwartzel had a very up-and-down day, but a strong finish propelled him into second place. Also beginning on the back nine, Schwartzel made a pair of bogeys on 10 and 11, but he got back to even par with back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15.
A bogey on 18 had Schwartzel making the turn at 1-over. Following a trio of pars from one, Schwartzel briefly got back to even par with a gain on four, but another bogey on five dropped him back another shot.
Then came the strong finish. After making his fourth birdie on No. 7, Schwartzel rolled in an eagle on No. 8 before making a birdie at the last to complete a 3-under 69.
NOTES: Sullivan had five top-10 finishes last season. His best finish was a runner-up at the Trophee Hassan II ... Schwartzel has nine career wins on the European Tour, including a victory at last season's Alfred Dunhill Championship ... Schwartzel also claimed the 2011 Masters title ... Defending champion Morten Orum Madsen (71) finished 36 holes tied for 34th at even-par 144 ... With the cut falling at 2-over 146, 66 players advanced to play the weekend.