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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.