PRETORIA, March 1 (Reuters) - A late surge of birdies from Charl Coetzee gave the South African a second-round 65 at the Tshwane Open on Friday and a one-shot lead over a congested pack.
The 26-year-old opened with three birdies on the front nine and carded four more in his last seven holes to go 12-under at the halfway mark of the European Tour sanctioned event.
He was safely in the club house at the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate at Centurion when an afternoon thunder storm brought play to an abrupt halt.
Coetzee held a four-stroke lead before the afternoon session where Mark Tullo of Chile recorded a 66 to cut his lead to a stroke.
Dawie van der Walt was also 11-under par, including seven birdies, when his round was brought to a premature halt with four holes to play.
He will be return early on Saturday with 53 others to complete the second round.
First-round leader Darren Fichardt was also among those yet to complete his round, picking up only one shot in a steady round to go eight-under.
American Peter Uihlein, a former U.S. amateur champion, chipped in at the last for a round of 66 to lie fourth on 10-under.
Coetzee's 65 was matched by Magnus Carlsson of Sweden, who turned his fortunes around after an opening day 76 but he is still nine behind the leaders.
"I haven't had this much fun in a long time," said Coetzee. "It's always nice to play well and it goes both ways, the better you play the more you enjoy it."
Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal looked likely to make the cut after putting a frustrating first round 76 behind him and storming through the second round to a one-under total before being forced to leave the course with two holes to play. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by John Mehaffey)