Justin Harding climbed 37 places and into the top 15 after a strong second round showing at the Fiji International on Friday, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
The 32-year-old Stellenbosch pro entered the week as the top-ranked player in the field, as well as the hottest player in the field, after two wins on the bounce sent him into the top 100 in the world rankings.
An opening 74 meant Friday was a day to play catch up and that’s exactly what he did.
A round of 67 not only moved him past Justin Walters and Ernie Els as the top-placed South African, but he also finished T12 thanks to a 67.
It was a quite a day for Harding, who bogeyed his first hole before turning level thanks to a birdie two at the 13th. The world No 99 then roared into the frame with three birdies in a row before closing with two gains in his final three holes to set up a later-than-anticipated starting time on Saturday.
A back nine 31, which included a birdie-eagle-birdie start, helped Ernie Els into the top 20. Els signed for a second round 70 and a tournament tally of -2. Walters slipped to a 76 on Friday.
New Zealand’s Ben Campbell, one of three players to better Harding’s 67 by a single shot, is eight clear of Harding and four clear of second-placed Andrew Dodt (Australian).
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