Ford keeps his nose in front

European Tour

Matt Ford will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Africa Open after adding a second-round 66 to his opening 67.

The 36-year-old Englishman took full advantage of the calmer morning conditions to move to 11 under for the tournament, mixing six birdies and an eagle with two bogeys.

Not bad for a player who was almost forced to spend a winter working for Royal Mail before coming through November’s Qualifying School at the tenth attempt.

“I don’t think you can ever get all of it out of the round,” said Ford.

“I missed a short one on 17 and hit a poor tee shot off nine, so those were a couple of mistakes, but you’re always going to make a few of those. I would have taken 11-under at the beginning of the day.”

Eduardo de la Riva is Ford’s closest pursuer, equalling his 66 to lie one shot adrift.

“I played a very good round today with good golf and good putts. I am very happy with the first two rounds,” De la Riva said.

South Africans Jaco van Zyl and Erik van Rooyen and Frenchman Gregory Havret are tied for third place on eight under, three back.

“Yesterday was really tough out there and I was very chuffed to pull two-under out of it,” said Van Zyl.

“I got it a lot easier this morning and when that happens you try to capitalise.”

Overnight co-leader Kevin Phelan fell off the pace with a 72 and now lies six back.

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