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Pole position for Meronk at Leopard Creek

Poland’s Adrian Meronk finished in the near darkness of an African evening as he secured a three-shot lead going into the weekend of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

Meronk signed for a second round of 66 on Friday that included a bogey at the treacherous par five 18th, but it did nothing to stop his quest for a European Tour victory as he topped the leaderboard on 13-under-par.

“I’m very pleased. I hit a lot of good shots and am very happy with my position,” said Meronk. “The last couple of holes were quite dark, especially the last one. I didn’t want to rush anything because I’ve been in that position before and rushed it. I’m excited. It’s only halfway and there’s still a lot of golf to be played. But I’m excited.”

Denmark’s Joachim B Hansen produced the low round of the day with a 64 that saw him join England’s Richard Bland (67) as Meronk’s nearest challengers three shots behind.

“It’s really nice to play the way I am right now and I just want to keep that going. I got it going out there and holed some good putts and kept that momentum. It’s working quite well right now and hopefully that continues for the next two days,” said Hansen, who is looking for back-to-back victories following his win in last week’s Joburg Open.

Jayden Schaper leads the South African challenge on eight-under-par alongside Frenchman Robin Roussel. The young star shot an impressive 67 and is feeling confident about the next 36 holes on a golf course he loves.

“I love this place. I love being here. It’s just an awesome atmosphere here. I’m really positive for the weekend. I’m just going to keep being positive and make the same decisions. The trick is not to change anything but just to continue with what’s got me here,” he said.

A double-bogey six on the 14th was the only setback in a second round where Schaper seemed to really settle into his rhythm and strategy for this tournament.

“I’m very happy. I felt pretty good out there. I watched the morning scores and I wanted to chase them. I’m very happy with how I hit the ball today. It was a lot better than in the first round. And I made a lot of clutch putts to save par because I didn’t hit too many greens in the middle of my round. I got a little bit upset with my wobble on the 14th, but I’m really happy with the way I finished it off.”