Friday, January 06, 2012


Louis Oosthuizen leads an all-South African top five at the halfway stage of the Africa Open after a superb display by the 2010 Open Champion at East London Golf Club today.
The defending champion was immaculate from tee to green as he recorded an 11 under par 62 – just one outside Richard Sterne’s course record.
At 15 under par he leads by two from compatriots Jaco Ahlers, Thomas Aiken, Retief Goosen and Tjaart Van der Walt.
The 29-year-old began the day with a birdie at the ninth, and added four further gains in a back-nine 32.
He birdied the first, and picked up another shot when he two-putted the long third after hitting the green in two.
Oosthuizen almost chipped in for eagle at the fifth, the ball lipping out and leaving a simple birdie chance, before the three-time European Tour winner finally got his eagle at the next.
Having hit the green at the 308 yard par four with a three wood, Oosthuizen then sank a 50ft putt for a 2, before finishing his round with a curling 25ft birdie putt two holes later.
“I was aggressive on the putter. I went about six foot past a few times and I had to make those for par,” said Oosthuizen. “The last one I made on the eighth would have been eight or ten foot past, but it hit the middle of the cup.
“But I was aggressive because yesterday I left a few putts short and you’re not going to hit it that far past on these greens.
On his eagle he added: “It was a lot of concentration on the tee shot because I hit the three wood in the bush yesterday. It was a three wood again off the tee, and I didn’t want to take any other club because I wanted to show myself that I can do it. If I’d taken something else then the next day I would probably have a three wood again.
“So I hit it on the green at the back. I saw the line of the putt but I wasn’t sure so I asked my caddie and he saw exactly the same line. I hit a perfect putt and it went straight in the middle of the hole, but it was a very long putt.”
Van der Walt’s 64 included consecutive eagles – a six iron hole-in-one at the second followed by a 20 footer for a 3 at the par five next.
Overnight leader Aiken holed a 20-footer at first, and looked to be in contention for a share of the halfway lead when he added three further gains over the next ten holes.
The Open de España winner was only one behind when he pitched to two feet from the rough on the 15th, but after 35 blemish-free holes he caught a flyer at the last and dropped his first shot of the tournament.
Goosen chipped to a foot at the 15th and birdied last from 20 feet en route to a 68 that kept him in the hunt for a first European Tour win in five years, while Ahlers carded the same score.
While the top five spots are filled by home players, the top ten was rounded off by Europeans as Swede Magnus A Carlsson carded a 65 for 12 under and Scots Alastair Forsyth and Craig Lee and English pair Danny Willett and Tommy Fleetwood reached 11 under par at the halfway stage.
SCOTSWATCH: Alastair Forsyth, pictured, had a bogey-free 66 for 135, the same total as Craig Lee who shot a second-round 67. Forsyth's sub-par figures came came with sausage-machine-like linking - at the 4th-5th-6th-7th and later the 15th-16th-17th. Lee birdied 3-4-5-7 before his only bogey came at the ninth. After the turn the Stirling man birdied 10-12-13. So he had got it to six under par for the day after only 13 holes but could not buy a birdie putt over holes 14 to 18.
Steven O'Hara repeated his opening 70 to be on 140. Highlight today for the Motherwell man was an eagle 3 at the 11th plus four birdies. But he will be rueing bogeys at the 14th and 17th which stopped him scoring in the 60s.
David Drysdale and Alan McLean made the weekend action on the limit mark of five-under-par 141 (remember they are playing a short par-73 course). Drysdale had a 67 with birdies at 1-6-7-11-17 and a bogey at the 14th. Glasgow-born, Canadian resident McLean had a 71 for 141.
Three Scots failed to clear the halfway hurdle. Lloyd Saltman had a good try at it with a second-round 69 which included birdies at 15-17-18. The Lothians man missed the cut by one shot. In all he had one eagle and 10 birdies over 36 holes. It's the bogeys that are killing him - eight of them in all.
George Murray had a disappointing start to his year with a pair of 72s for 144 while Raymond Russell totalled one more than that with 71-74.

Par 146 (2x73)
Players from South Africa unless stated
131 Louis Oosthuizen 69 62.
133 Thomas Aiken 64 69, Retief Goosen 65 68, Tiaart Van der Walt 69 64, Jaco Ahlers 65 68.
135 Danny Willett (Eng) 67 68, Alastair Forsyth (Sco) 69 66, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 69 66, Craig Lee (Sco) 68 67, Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 69 66
136 Tyrone Ferreira 68 68, Matthew Baldwin (Eng) 72 64, Keith Horne 69 67, Benn Barham (Eng) 70 66, Jaco Van Zyl 71 65, Richard Bland (Eng) 67 69.

140 Steven O'Hara (Sco) 70 70 (T50)
141 David Drysdale (Sco) 72 69, Alan McLean (Sco) 70 71 (T65)

MISSED CUT (141 or better qualified)
142 Lloyd Saltman (Sco) 73 69 (T82)
144 George Murray (Sco) 72 72 (T110)
145 Raymond Russell (Sco) 71 74 (T118).





Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google