Saturday, April 14, 2012


Kuala Lumpur: South African star Louis Oosthuizen edged into a one-shot lead from Scotland's Stephen Gallagher, pictured, at the weather-disrupted Maybank Malaysian Open today to earn a shot at victory seven days after his Masters Tournament heartbreak.
The 2010 British Open champion, who lost to American Bubba Watson in a play-off in the year’s opening Major, brilliantly moved to 13-under-par in the US$2.5 million championship through 10 holes of his third round when play was suspended due to a lightning storm in the evening.
Stephen Gallacher, who took an early lead with three birdies in his first five holes, was overhauled by Oosthuizen but the Scot  led the chasing pack after negotiating 12 holes of his third round in three under, followed by Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain, England’s Danny Willet and American David Lipsky, all on 10-under in the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event.
India’s Jyoti Randhawa, the Asian Tour’s number one in 2002, was the highest placed Asian in a share of sixth place, four behind the leader as he played 13 holes in three under while countryman Jeev Milkha Singh was a further shot back through 13 holes as well.
Oosthuizen travelled for nearly 30 hours from Augusta National to Kuala Lumpur where he spent “every second” reflecting on his play-off defeat in the second extra hole but showed he was well over the disappointment.
The 29-year-old first returned to the West course early this morning to fire two birdies in six holes to seize the second round lead and kept his nose ahead of the pack with another masterful display in the afternoon’s third round with birdies on the fourth, fifth, ninth and 10th holes against a bogey on six.
“I feel good now. I made good putts on nine and 10 for birdies and I have another birdie putt to come back to in the morning so it feels really good. I am playing well and just have to keep giving myself chances,” said Oosthuizen, who is chasing his fifth European Tour victory and first in Asia.
“You never know with the weather here so you are trying to get ahead of the guys just in case all of a sudden it becomes a 54-hole event. It’s a tough week but it was always going to be the case this week. None of that will matter if I can win tomorrow. My swing feels really good and when you are playing like this, you really want to get a win because it just boosts the confidence and it is a good time of the year to do that.”
The third round will resume at 7.45am on Sunday with the fourth and final round to commence from 8.30am with players remaining in the same groupings.
The in-form Lipsky, who won the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School in January and triumphed in the HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic last month, kept in touch with the leader following birdies on the second, fifth and seventh holes as he managed to play 11 holes before play was halted.
“The last six holes are all birdie holes so I hope to convert some there. I’m definitely excited to be up on the leaderboard. I’m looking forward to making birdies and climbing up and hopefully compete,” said Lipsky.
Randhawa sank six birdies in 13 holes but dropped three shots along with way. The Indian star, who has eight wins in Asia but none since 2009, was excited about the prospect of ending his title drought. “It’s been a while, about a year and half since I’ve been in contention in a big event. I guess nerves play a bit. But I was surprised how calm I was and how relaxed I was,” said Randhawa.
“I don’t think being four back, you kind of feel the guys will not drop many shots. For me to shoot eight or nine under is asking too much but hey it’s golf. I’m going to be trying my hardest tomorrow.”
He reaped the rewards of spending 45 minutes at the range after his second round on Friday, fixing an old flaw in his swing set-up. “I played better, focusing what I needed to do. I’m surprised I’m quite comfortable despite the pressure that I’m playing in. Made some good putts and missed some small ones as well but that’s okay. Felt good about my golf swing. I’m a bit edgy but other than that, I’m managing quite well.”
With his father and wife in the crowd, Singh, a two-time Asian Tour number one, stayed on the fringe of contention. He plans to go on an all-out attack on Sunday. “I’m not out of it. I’m hitting the ball well. It’ll all come down to hitting a few putts tomorrow. I’m feeling pretty good. Let’s see what comes my way,” said Singh, who has six Asian Tour wins.
“I’ll surely give it a go tomorrow. Louis is in control. He showed it last week too. In this game, anything is possible. I’ll be more aggressive tomorrow for sure.”

Par 72. Yardage 6,967
-13: Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 66-68 through 10 holes
-12: Stephen GALLACHER (SCO) 67-68 through 11 holes
-10: Rafael CABRERA-BELLO (ESP) 67-72 through 13 holes, Danny WILLETT (ENG) 69-69 through 12 holes, David LIPSKY (USA) 70-67 through 11 holes
-9: Ricardo GONZALEZ (ARG) 68-71 through 13 holes, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 66-72 through 13 holes, Hennie OTTO (RSA) 71-64 through 10 holes
-8: Simon DYSON (ENG) 69-70 through 13 holes, Ben FOX (USA) 70-68 through 13 holes, Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 65-73 through 13 holes
-7: Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 69-73-67, Victor DUBUISSON (FRA) 72-68 through 14 holes, Charl SCHWARTZEL (RSA) 64-75 through 14 holes, Rhys DAVIES (WAL) 70-68 through 13 holes, Martin KAYMER (GER) 70-67 through 12 holes.
-5 Alastair Forsyth (Scotland) 71 72 through 16 holes (T20).

215 David Drysdale (Scotland) 72 69 74 (T48)





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