Oosthuizen sets Open record as Aussies struggle

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Louis Oosthuizen set a 36-hole document on the British Open as Aussies Marc Leishman and Jason Day struggled.

On a day of nice summer season climate that took the concern out of the hyperlinks off Sandwich Bay, Oosthuizen broke away from a three-way tie with a birdie-birdie-eagle run from the twelfth gap. He shrugged off his first bogey of the week for a 5-under 65 and a two-stroke lead on Friday.

Former PGA champion Collin Morikawa had a 64 within the morning and was two pictures behind. One other shot again was Jordan Spieth (67), going after his fourth main.

Lurking was two-time main champion Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 participant on the earth who shot 65 and was tied for fourth, 4 strokes behind Oosthuizen.

“The sport is sweet, however I do know it is a actually good leaderboard,” Oosthuizen mentioned. “I will need to play good golf this weekend if I wish to come out first.”

Aussie Marc Leishman had a irritating day when he snapped his putter together with his naked arms earlier than then occurring to make three birdies all whereas placing with a wedge.

Leishman seemed like he was destined to overlook the reduce however his spherical improved exponentially after he was pressured to begin utilizing a wedge to putt for the remainder of his spherical and he ended up ‘blading’ dwelling his three longest birdies of the week.

The Victorian’s three-under par 67 was an enormous enchancment on his opening spherical 75 when he was statistically the worst putter within the area. the poorest placing statistics within the area however at two-over he was nonetheless more likely to miss the projected one-over reduce.

Leishman completed two over however fellow Aussie Jason Day adopted up his opening spherical of 75 with a level-par 70, lacking the reduce.

“I performed the primary three-over par [in the two rounds] and performed the ninth three-over par as nicely,” Day mentioned, highlighting the holes that price him a spot with the reduce, which is estimated to be stage par or one-over.

“I am making an attempt to get again to No.1. I have been saying that for some time now, however the work I have been placing in hasn’t yielded loads of outcomes but. I imagine it in my coronary heart. The final two or three seasons of not enjoying humbles you a large number. I do know that my sport is sweet sufficient to be No.1.”

Oosthuizen, trying as calm because the situations, was at 11-under 129, breaking the 36-hole Open document first set by Nick Faldo in 1992 at Muirfield and matched by Brandt Snedeker in 2012 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

This would be the fifth time within the final 9 rounds at a significant that Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion at St. Andrews, has had at the very least a share of the lead. He was runner-up on the final two majors, to Phil Mickelson on the the PGA Championship in Could and to Jon Rahm the U.S. Open final month.

“I am probably not going to consider the second spots,” mentioned Oosthuizen, when requested what he’ll do otherwise this time. “I do know my sport is in a very good place.”

He’ll additionally pay attention to the standard of participant behind him, although.

Morikawa, making fairly a debut in hyperlinks golf, made seven birdies in his first 14 holes as a part of a clinic in iron play. He missed a 5-foot par putt on No. 15 — ending a 27-hole stretch and not using a bogey — and had a 10-foot birdie putt on the ultimate gap catch the lip.

Spieth, 4 pictures behind Morikawa when he teed off, was tied for the lead after 12 holes after which performed the final six holes in 1 over, a stretch he described as “irritating.” He had loads of appears at birdie, however the putts did not drop like they did on Thursday.

“I do not know, I believe I have to convey extra meals on the golf course tomorrow,” mentioned Spieth, who has already lifted the claret jug earlier than at Royal Birkdale in 2017. “I received actually simply in a bizarre head house, like fatigued there on just like the thirteenth inexperienced as we have been ready and hitting putts.”

Then there was Johnson, a runner-up at Royal St. George’s in 2011, who caught his method on the final to three ft for a birdie and a spherical of 65, which left him at 7 underneath with Dylan Frittelli of South Africa (67) and Scottie Scheffler (66).

The climate is anticipated to remain benign over the weekend, probably favoring Johnson if the fairways agency up and the ball runs longer and sooner.

“I really feel like I am in a very good place heading into the weekend,” he mentioned.

One shot behind an eclectic mixture of gamers at 6 underneath — together with two extra South Africans in Justin Harding and Daniel Van Tonder in addition to Germany’s Marcel Siem, who certified from a second-tier Problem Tour occasion final week — have been Rahm (64) and Brooks Koepka.

Koepka, a four-time main winner and seemingly at all times in competition at golf’s greatest occasions, made 4 birdies in his final 5 holes for a 66, then continued his petty feud with Bryson DeChambeau with maybe the most effective shot of his spherical.

Throughout a tv interview, Koepka mentioned he was driving it nice, including: “I really like my driver” — a transparent nod at DeChambeau, who complained on Thursday that his driver “sucks.”

DeChambeau would not appear to be being an element this weekend at Royal St. George’s however he is sticking round after capturing a 70, which noticed him make the reduce on the quantity at 1 over.

Rory McIlroy can be, too, needing a birdie on the ultimate gap for an additional 70. He was 11 pictures behind and set to remain on 4 majors till 2022.

“That is kind of been the best way for the final couple months,” McIlroy mentioned. “It is felt shut, however it simply hasn’t fairly been shut sufficient.”

Different huge names weren’t so fortunate: No. 7 Patrick Cantlay, No. 9 Patrick Reed and former Open champions Francesco Molinari and Henrik Stenson have been amongst these headed dwelling.

An indication of the favorable climate that has confronted the world’s finest gamers this week — there was barely a drop of wind at instances on Friday — is the actual fact the reduce was at 1-over 141. The earlier lowest reduce at Royal St. George’s was 143.

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