Aiken leads as storms stop play

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Thomas Aiken had edged into the lead at the Joburg Open on 13-under when thunder storms forced play to be suspended.

South Africa’s Thomas Aiken had edged into the lead at the Joburg Open on 13-under when thunder storms forced play to be suspended.

Aiken, who was one of only two players in the top ten overnight to have started the tournament on the difficult East Course, where he opened with a seven under 64 to be two off the pace, was at 6-under today after just 12 holes on the easier West Course the stormy weather forced officials to suspend play.

The 27-year-old, seven-time Sunshine Tour winner was one ahead of compatriot and joint overnight leader Martin Maritz and England’s Jamie Elson at that stage.

Maritz, who also played the first round on the East Course, and shot a blistering 62 to buck a trend that saw 22 of the first rounds 26 top scores come on the West Course lay-out.

He was three under at the turn today thanks largely to an eagle at the par five ninth.

Elson, who narrowly failed to keep his European Tour card last season, like Aiken, reached six under through 12 holes after carding five straight birdies from the fifth.

Two more South Africans – Garth Mulroy and Tyrone Mordt – shared fourth on 11 under, with defending champion Charl Schwartzel amongst those a shot further back.

Clearly disappointed by a sluggish, first-round 68 that had left him some six shots off the pace, Schwartzel made it clear from the start of today’s second round that he would be making a catch-up charge and he did just that by blazing to a best of the day 7-under after just 12 holes

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