Part of complete coverage on
Els in fine form in build-up to British Open title defense
June 21, 2013 -- Updated 2232 GMT (0632 HKT)
Ernie Els stayed ahead of his rivals with a last hole birdie in the BMW International second round in Munich.
- Ernie Els leads BMW International at halfway stage
- Shoots a three-under 69 for 12-under 132
- Els defending British Open crown next month
- Justin Rose stays in contention in Travelers Championship
(CNN) -- Evergreen Ernie Els set the halfway pace at the BMW International in Munich Friday after finishing his second round with a flourish.
Coming off the back of a strong performance at the U.S. Open where he tied for fourth behind Justin Rose, the 43-year-old South African carded a three-under 69 on the Munchen Eichennied course.
Combined with his superb first round of 63, it left Els on 12-under 132 and one shot clear of Frenchman Alexander Levy (68) and England's Matthew Baldwin (69), who tied for second place on 11-under par.
Els slipped back when he carded a double bogey after finding the water on the seventh, but four birdies in the next seven holes saw him back in command.
Read: Emotional Rose shares dream with his late father
Justin Rose wins the 2013 U.S. Open
Rose bests Mickelson in U.S. Open
Tour stars on God and golf
Expert: How to improve your putting
He dropped a shot on the 16th, but grabbed the outright lead with a birdie at the last.
"I'm in a nice position obviously," he told the official European Tour website.
"I'm quite fortunate to be where I am. I didn't play as good today as I did yesterday obviously. I fought hard for a score today and satisfied with that." Els will be looking for a morale boosting victory ahead of his defense of the British Open title at Muirfield next month.
Defending BMW champion Danny Willett of England improved his chances of doubling up in the 25th edition of the tournament with a seven-under 65, tied for fourth with Bernd Wiesberger of Austria.
Home hope Martin Kaymer battled an upset stomach to card a one-under 71 to stay in the hunt on nine under par in a five-strong group which also included popular Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Read: Winning? There's more to life says Jimenez
Meanwhile, at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, Rose kept in touch with the leaders after another solid round on the TPC River Highlands Course.
Fresh from his triumph at Merion, the Englishman carded a two-under 68 to go into the clubhouse on five-under 135.
It left him five shots adrift of leader Bubba Watson, who shot a 67 to follow his opening 63.
Watson, a runner up in the event last year, is searching for his first win since last year's U.S. Masters.
His nearest challengers were Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Patrick Reed, who were both eight-under.
First round leader Charley Hoffman slipped back after his opening 61 with a 73.
Part of complete coverage on
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
April 24, 2014 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
Bubba Watson is the Masters king, but can he win a major away from Augusta? Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue has the lowdown.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
Arnold Palmer won his first major at Augusta, played there with the U.S. President and made a record 50 consecutive Masters appearances.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1202 GMT (2002 HKT)
He is remembered for designing one of the world's most famous golf courses, but the man behind Augusta died pleading to be paid.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Take a trip around Augusta. From Eisenhower's toppled tree to the fiendishly-difficult Amen Corner, the Masters' home venue has it all.
Today's five most popular stories