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Rock takes 1-shot lead before rain in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Robert Rock opened up a one-shot lead at the Joburg Open on Friday before thunderstorms interrupted play for a second straight day.

The Englishman shot a 4-under 67 on the West Course to move to 11-under 132 overall after completing his first round on the East Course early Friday. South African pair Jbe Kruger (66) and Branden Grace (66) were tied for second.

More than half the field were trying to finish their second rounds when strong wind and heavy rain lashed Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club and ended play.

Overnight co-leader Jamie Elson was one of 12 players still to tee off.

Two-time defending champion Charl Schwartzel was 3 under after two rounds, just inside the halfway cut.

Rock had an early start to complete his opening round, finishing on the tougher East Course with birdies at Nos. 17 and 18. He then had an eagle and four birdies on the West layout to open a narrow advantage in the second European Tour event of the season.

"I don't like 4:30 a.m. alarm calls," he said. "The aim is to play your way out of those by the weekend."

Michiel Bothma also finished two rounds and was 9 under. George Coetzee, who had played six holes of his second round, also was at 9 under.

Retief Goosen was four shots off the lead through six holes of the second round.

Masters champion Schwartzel struggled with his putting. He had four birdies and a bogey for a 3-under 68 on the West Course and a tie for 56th.

American Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA champion, had five bogeys in his 2-over 73 and almost certainly will miss the cut.

Photo by  The Canadian Press

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