A lethargic Ernie Els managed to birdie the last hole to maintain his lead after two rounds of the 25th anniversary BMW International Open in Munich on Friday.
Els added a 69 to his opening score of 63 to move to a 12-under-par 132 total on the Munchen Eichenried course.
The 43-year old South African was struggling early after finding a water hazard at the seventh hole and walking off with a double bogey.
However, the four-time Major champion then birdied four of his next seven holes and while he did drop a shot at 16, Els stamped his class with a birdie at the last.
“I didn’t feel a lot of energy today for some reason, especially on the front nine, and maybe it’s jet-lag or age or something,” he said. “I made an absolute mess of two holes. I made a terrible mistake on seven trying to hit over the little creek with my drive, but found the water.”
“So if you take those two mistakes away, then I had a really good round. I’m still in a nice position and after a nice US Open I feel as though I am swinging the club nicely,” Els added.
Two players, Frenchman Alexander Levy (68) and England’s Matthew Baldwin (69) share second place on 11 under par.
Germany’s Martin Kaymer boosted hopes of a first victory this season despite battling an upset stomach.
Kaymer, 28, struggled to be one over par after 14 holes, before he birdied two of his closing three holes in a one-under-par 71 and moved to nine under par.
“Golf-wise, it was not the greatest day as I felt so bad on the first nine,” he said.
“You could see me running back into the clubhouse after my putt at my ninth hole, but overall, I am playing well, but just not feeling very well,” Kaymer added.
In fact, Kaymer had experienced vomiting and diarrhoea before his round, while his brother was seen to deliver tablets to him during the course of his play.
Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie missed out on a planned 50th birthday celebration cake today after missing the three-under-par cut-off mark by a shot, with a pair of 71s.
Montgomerie is heading to the US on Monday, where next Thursday he is to make his seniors debut in the Senior Players Championship being played at the Fox Chapel Club in suburban Pittsburgh.