A “very happy” Edoardo Molinari confirmed his recent return to form by posting a second-round 68 on Friday to claim a share of the halfway lead at the Johannesburg Open.
The injury-plagued Molinari’s round included four birdies, leaving him on 11-under-par at the end of day two, tied in the lead with Scotland’s Craig Lee.
Molinari’s 68 on the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington West Course followed a 64 on the easier East Course on Thursday.
The field play both courses on the first two days, then switch to the East Course after the cut.
Molinari, who played in the 2010 Ryder Cup, but had seen his world ranking slip to 220, last week recorded a top-10 finish in Dubai and said his good form was continuing on the latest global leg of the European tour.
Lee, who shot a 67 on the West Course to go with a 65 on the East on the first day, said he achieved his aim of not slipping back into the field.
One shot further back were England’s David Horsey and the home favorite, George Coetzee.
Horsey posted an eight-under-par 63, which included six birdies in the first 14 holes.
The four are being closely chased by a strong field, with seven players just two shots off the lead on nine under, including Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth.
The eventual winner of the Joburg Open will take home 206,050 euros (US$280,965) and one of three automatic qualifications for The Open.