Justin Walters fired a second consecutive 68 to move within one of the lead at the Shot Clock Masters, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
Walters, playing the back nine first, had some work to do as the early field made a surge at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria. After four straight pars, Walters birdied the par-three 14th and made it two in a row with a four at the par-five 15th before a trio of pars to close out the nine.
A birdie at the start of his inward nine saw his name flash on the leaderboard but a momentum-halting bogey at the next would ultimately prove to be the difference between sleeping with the certainty of playing in the last tee time on Saturday. An eagle three at the par-five 4th helped keep Walters in place before he consolidated with a run of pars into the clubhouse.
Walters, who was forced to play his way onto the European Tour at Q-School, will be looking to keep his steady play up over the next 36 holes as South Africa waits in anticipation of a second consecutive win in Austria after Dylan Frittelli won the Lyoness Open last year.
The high-flying South African sits alongside England’s Steve Webster in second with Mikko Korhonen leading at -9 at the halfway point.
Joining Walters this weekend is countryman Christiaan Bezuidenhout but he has plenty to do to secure a big pay cheque. Bezuidenhout signed for a second consecutive 72 but needed three birdies in his final five holes to get there after going out in 39.
Zander Lombard opened with a double and went out in 40 to all but end his chances of playing on the weekend. Lombard finished alongside Trevor Fisher Jnr at +4 for the tournament, a tally that could’ve been worse had Lombard not finished with two birdies on the bounce.
Fisher Jnr was -1 through seven but was +3 for the next six holes before a late birdie helped him to a 73.
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