Nelson goes clear in Windhoek

It’s been a while for Prinavin Nelson, but some solid golf on Friday has sent him to the front at the Namibia PGA Championship.

It has been a while for Prinavin Nelson, but by restricting his bogeys to one in 36 holes, he has managed to go to the top of the leaderboard after Friday’s second round of the MTC Namibia PGA Championship.

On Friday he added a three-under-par 68 to his opening 65 on the 6,570-metre layout at Windhoek Country Club. to move to nine-under at the halfway stage, one stroke clear of Ryan Tipping, whose four-under saw him move into contention in sole second place at 134.

A further shot back, two shots off the pace were Justin Walters and Christiaan Basson, who also opened with 65s but added 70s and Albert Pistorius who shot a 69 to be tied with them with a 7-under 135

“I’ve been struggling from about late last year,” said a clearly relieved Nelson, “This is probably the first cut I’ve made this year.”

He claimed his maiden title in 2009 when he won the SAA Pro-Am Invitational in Paarl, but he had a battle throughout 2010, missing 11 cuts and making the top 20 just six times, twice among the top 10s.

And it had been even worse until now in 2011. Up until Friday he had missed the cut in all five appearances on Tour.

“I’ve been working on a couple of small things,” he said, “and it seems to be starting to come right.”

“I think my putting has been especially outstanding these past few days. I don’t think I’ve missed anything under six feet.

“I missed a few greens today, and I was struggling a bit finishing my round, but I’ll go to the range now and sort it out,” he added.

While Nelson finished his round with four birdies and a bogey his closest pursuer Tipping also had just one bogey on his card. But an eagle three on 496-metre seventh helped him post a four-under 67.

Basson said his opening six-under-par 65 had put him in a good early position, but it was a second round of making sure things didn’t spin out of control that kept him in contention.

“Today I kind of scrambled around and I didn’t really play well,” he said. “But I finished in joint third only two off the pace and I have to say my short game saved me once or twice.”

Basson is looking for his second professional victory following his 2009 Coca-Cola Championship triumph.

Co-incidentally, Branden Grace is also looking for a second professional win – and he won the 2010 Coca-Cola Championship.

Grace carded a two-under 69 to move into a share of ninth position at five-under-par. At four off the pace, he and multiple Sunshine Tour winners Jean Hugo and Darren Fichardt and all very much still in the hunt.