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Donald fires 63, leads Nedbank Golf Challenge

Second Round — European Tour — Nedbank Golf Challenge — Gary Player Country Club — Sun City, South Africa — 

England’s Luke Donald fired a bogey free 9-under-63 to take the 36-hole lead at the European Tour’s 2015 season-opener at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

The former World No. 1 was one of only four players to card rounds in the 60s on day two at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City. Even more impressive, Donald’s 63 was four strokes better than his closest competition Tommy Fleetwood.

At 10-under overall, Donald leads Ross Fisher by two shots heading into the weekend. Alexander Levy, a winner on the European Tour in October, is alone in third at 6-under. Other headlines include Tim Clark and Charl Schwartzel in the Top 10.

The 36-year-old has returned to his old coach recently. He last won on the European Tour in 2012 at the BMW PGA Championship. He won last year in 2013 at the Japan Tour’s Dunlap Phoenix Open. His last win in the U.S. was at the 2012 Transitions Championship.

Donald is coming off a decent 2014 campaign logging Top 10s on the PGA Tour at the Valspar Championship and Honda Classic in Florida last spring. He was also runner-up at the RBC Heritage losing to Matt Kuchar and posted a T-3 finish at the BMW PGA Championship. Donald, now 37th in the Official World Golf Ranking, came into this week as a 20-to-1 betting selection at www.ladbrokes.com.

Also in the 30-player field is Lee Westwood (T-11), Louis Oosthuizen (T-13) and Brooks Koepka (T-15). Jamie Donaldson, who finished fourth in the Race to Dubai standings in 2014, withdrew before round two.

Other Golf News: 

  • Jordan Spieth (6-under) leads the Hero World Challenge near Orlando after 18 holes in an exclusive 18-player field including tournament host and five-time champion Tiger Woods. Spieth leads Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker and defending champion Zach Johnson by a shot.
  • Padraig Harrington, a three-time major champion, is tied for the lead at 12-under overall at the Asian Tour’s BANK BRI Indonesia Open. Harrington was 5-under through 12 holes in his second round when play was suspended due to weather.
  • Woods began round two at Isleworth Golf and Country Club a whopping 11 shots back of Spieth. After shooting 77 in round one, Woods was in the first pairing out on the course Friday. He is 1-under on his round in the early going.
  • John Daly, who recently announced he is engaged, shot 64 at the Japan Tour’s Beko Classic. He is one shot back of the lead after the first round of the 54-hole affair.
  • The Hero World Challenge signed to play the next three seasons in Albany, Bahamas.