Just four Saffas will feature on the weekend of the French Open, with 11 packing their bags on Friday, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
Haydn Porteous, Thomas Aiken, Trevor Fisher Jnr and Richard Sterne will do duty at the HNA Open de France at Golf National, after the cut was set at +1.
The quartet booked their place in the money this weekend after going under par on Friday in trying conditions. Porteous is the best-placed of the Saffas on -3 after his 67 (T18), five off the lead after 36 holes. Aiken matched Porteous’ mark on Friday with a 67 of his own, but it could’ve been much better as he made the turn -5 after a start that included six straight birdies. The 33-year-old played the back nine in +1 and is now -2 at the halfway mark.
Trevor Fisher Jnr added a one under 70 to his opening 71 to sit in T38, with Sterne one shot behind after his four-shot improvement on his opening 73.
That’s where the good news ended for the SA contingent in France as 11 players missed the cut, including George Coetzee, who went from -3 after Thursday to +8 after an 82. He made only one birdie to go with his six bogeys and three double drops. Coetzee beat the field in driving accuracy, but hit just 50% of the greens on the punishing layout in trying conditions.
Justin Walter also tumbled out of contention after shooting 79 on Friday. He began the day level with Brandon Stone, another of the Saffas wishing to quickly forget Friday.
Stone shot 77, also with only one birdie to his name, to go from -2 to +4 and join Hennie Otto, Jaco Van Zyl, Darren Fichardt, Dylan Frittelli, Jbe Kruger, Trevor Immelman, Zander Lombard and Dean Burmester on the plane to their next events.
American Peter Uihlein shot a second 67 to help him to the top of the leaderboard alongside Spain’s Adrian Otaegui on -8.
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