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Sterne on course to pip Lowry to Tucson

IN SOUTH AFRICA, Richard Sterne demanded Shane Lowry's attention as he held onto a share of the lead at the Joburg Open yesterday with a second-round 65 on the demanding East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington GC.

Tied on 15-under with Sunshine Tour stalwart Trevor Fisher Jnr, Sterne had formidable fellow countrymen George Coetzee and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel among those breathing down his neck entering the weekend.


Yet 31-year-old Sterne appears to have the confidence to pull off the win tomorrow which would ease him past Lowry, who is not playing this week, into the top 64 and give him a slot in the Accenture Match Play Championship, which will be held in Tuscon in two weeks' time.

The only other threats to Lowry's Match Play chances in Joburg, Danny Willett and Kristoffer Broberg, both missed the cut, as did Irishmen Gareth Maybin (74 66, -3), Damien McGrane (66 75, -2) and David Higgins (71 73, +1) – although the Kerryman opened with an eagle three yesterday.