Schwartzel set to end victory drought; Durban wash out in Euro Tour opener
December 8, 2012 -- Updated 0113 GMT (0913 HKT)
Charl Schwartzel plays a tee shot during his second round as he claimed the halfway lead at the Thailand Open.
- South African Charl Schwartzel leads at halfway in Thailand Championship
- Marcus Fraser a shot clear in Australian Open in Sydney
- Nelson Mandela Championship in South Africa hit by flooding
- China's Shanshan Feng leads after three rounds of Dubai Ladies Masters
(CNN) -- Charl Schwartzel stayed on course to achieve his first win since claiming the 2011 U.S. Masters crown as he took a four-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Thailand Championship Friday.
The South African shot a seven under par 65 for a 14 under par 130 total at Amata Spring Country Club.
Daniel Chopra of Sweden carded a 67 for second place with Japan's Masanori Kobayashi a shot further back.
Rising Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa shot a fine 66 for 136 while this year's Masters champion Bubba Watson of the United States and Spain's Sergio Garcia were in the group on 138.
Schwartzel is hopeful of ending his 20-month victory drought, particularly as he has found form on the putting green.
Top golfers' expectations for 2013
Living Golf: Best of 2012
Europe's Medinah miracle
"It is still a long way to go. It's half the job done. From my side, I just have to keep playing," he told the official European Tour website.
"I've been reading them (putts) well. The stroke feels good. I've gone through a long two years where I've missed a lot of putts. A few goes in, it's nice."
Ryder Cup star Garcia had three birdies in his last five holes to take closer order in a high class field.
"I'm in a decent position," he said.
Meanwhile, Marcus Fraser carded a second straight three-under-par in the Australian Open in Sydney to take a one-shot lead at halfway.
The home hope leads fellow Australians Brendan Jones (71) and first-round leader John Senden, who were tied for second at The Lakes.
In-form Englishman Justin Rose was in a group tied for fifth at three under going into the weekend, while American legend Tom Watson carded a superb 68 Friday to make the cut by a stroke.
Watson is on the same mark as defending champion Greg Chalmers, who slipped back with a second round 75.
The opening event of the 2013 European Tour, the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship, has yet to get underway at Royal Durban in South Africa.
Heavy rainfall left the course flooded for the second straight day but organizers hope to get the delayed event started Saturday.
In the Dubai Ladies Masters, the concluding event of the Ladies European Tour, China's Shanshan Feng continued to lead the way after the third round.
She carded a 67 for 18-under-par at the Emirates Golf Club, but Dutch woman Dewi Claire Schreefel made inroads into her lead with a tournament record 63 to trail by five.
France's Gwladys Nocera was a shot back at 12-under, one ahead of Germany's Caroline Masson and Cindy Lacrosse of the United States.
Part of complete coverage on
June 14, 2013 -- Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)
Two of the most recognizable faces on the planet were casually shooting the breeze as they swept down the fairway in Florida.
June 13, 2013 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
As well as the bad weather that has already disrupted play, the world's top golfers will face a rare challenge at this week's U.S. Open at Merion.
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 1053 GMT (1853 HKT)
Forget hitting the greens -- it's the fairway to heaven which is on the minds of some of the world's top golfers.
June 11, 2013 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
David Graham reflects on the emotion of winning the U.S. Open at Merion in 1981, the Australian's second major triumph.
June 11, 2013 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Shane O'Donoghue attempts to recreate the most iconic photo in golf, Hy Peskin's pic of Ben Hogan's one-iron shot.
June 6, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Butch Harmon and his son, Claude Harmon III, open up about their family's golf legacy.
June 6, 2013 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Lee Trevino recounts his 1971 victory at Merion Golf Club, which will also host this year's U.S. Open.
June 6, 2013 -- Updated 1629 GMT (0029 HKT)
Tiger Woods has climbed back to the top of the golf rankings, and now he has reclaimed his crown as the world's highest-paid athlete.
April 16, 2013 -- Updated 1615 GMT (0015 HKT)
Masters champion Adam Scott not only has to contend with national hero status at home but also the role of golf's latest sex symbol.
April 12, 2013 -- Updated 1118 GMT (1918 HKT)
Discover why golf's old school establishment fears a new breed of players creating new popularity with their online antics.
April 11, 2013 -- Updated 1854 GMT (0254 HKT)
Following the web's reaction to Adam Scott's dramtic triumph at the 2013 Masters.
April 12, 2013 -- Updated 1408 GMT (2208 HKT)
It's not just golf that makes Augusta so special -- there's also James Brown, cheese pimiento sandwiches, turkeys and ghosts.
March 26, 2013 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
As a swimmer, his countless hours of training paid off handsomely. As a golfer, Michael Phelps is wondering what he got himself into.
April 1, 2013 -- Updated 1306 GMT (2106 HKT)
American D.A. Points celebrates his win at the Houston Open by joining in the "Dufnering" craze that has gripped golf recently.
March 7, 2013 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Living Golf meets Thorbjorn Olesen as the rising star of European golf prepares for the most important tournaments of his career.
March 13, 2013 -- Updated 1925 GMT (0325 HKT)
Martin Kaymer reflects on his performance at the 39th Ryder Cup, when he sunk the winning putt against the United States.
February 7, 2013 -- Updated 1501 GMT (2301 HKT)
CNN's Shane O'Donoghue asks how much Rory McIlroy's new multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal is really worth.
February 7, 2013 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Living Golf meets Paul McGinley, who talks about becoming Europe's new Ryder Cup captain.
February 18, 2013 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Paul McGinley's former captain, Sam Torrance, shares some advice for the pro golfer turned new Ryder Cup captain.
Today's five most popular stories