SA’s challenge at PGA Championship holds steady

Charl Schwartzel of South Africa reacts to his shot from the 18th tee during the third round of the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club on August 11, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri. Stuart Franklin/Getty Images/AFP

Charl Schwartzel continued his impressive form at Bellerive but youngsters Branden Grace and Dylan Frittelli have also avoided the predictable fade of recent years.

Two late birdies helped Dylan Frittelli join Branden Grace, Brandon Stone and Charl Schwartzel as weekend contenders at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club.

Frittelli, a two-time winner on the European Tour, made the cut on the number with two birdies in his final three holes in the rain-hit second round of the 100th playing of the PGA Championship.

Compatriot Grace was another needing to tidy up early but instead of pushing on to join Stone and Schwartzel, he struggled for momentum.

A 300+ yard drive on the 11th helped Grace to a two-putt birdie to go with his 6-footer on the 13th following a precision iron into the par three.

A bogey in between the two gains and a run of five straight pars left the multiple European Tour winner in a share of 37th place; eight behind solo leader Gary Woodland.

Justin Harding missed the cut in his debut at this level after rounds of 72 and 70 and will watch the action from afar alongside Louis Oosthuizen, who withdrew minutes before Thursday’s round citing a back injury.

Oosthuizen’s withdrawal is the second in a recent weeks after he pulled out of the Scottish Open with a neck niggle.

His season now faces a crossroads as he ponders resting his body for a renewed season or battling through and attempting to play his way to the Tour championship as the FedExCup races towards its finale.

At the top of the pile, Charl Schwartzel, who vaulted into contention with a 63 on Friday, joins Rickie Fowler and world number one Dustin Johnson in the third round at 8:27pm.

Ten minutes before that Brandon Stone, four off the lead after rounds of 66 and 68, tees off his third round with Thomas Pieters and Shane Lowry.

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