Louis Oosthuizen set a brand new document for the bottom 36-hole complete at The Open Championship when the 37-year-old South African added a second spherical 65 to his opening 64 to guide the match by two photographs on the half-way stage.
On a day of low scoring at a sunny Royal St George’s, Oosthuizen pulled three clear with an eagle on the par-five 14th, however his first bogey of match on the fifteenth, adopted by three pars noticed his lead reduce to 2 strokes by the shut of play.
It offers him a 36-hole complete of 129, which is the bottom in Open historical past, beating the full of 130 by Nick Faldo at Muirfield in 1992 and Brandt Snedeker 20 years later at Royal Lytham & St Annes. The world quantity 13 now must convert his benefit right into a second main victory, having posted six runners-up finishes, together with on the 2015 Open, since he lifted the Claret Jug 11 years in the past.
Oosthuizen is being hunted down by a high-class area, together with 2020 PGA Champion Collin Morikawa, who set the early goal of 9 underneath in spherical two after scooting around the Kent hyperlinks in simply 64 strokes in superb situations on Friday morning. Fellow American Jordan Spieth’s 67 may have been a number of photographs higher if a hatful of putts hadn’t lipped out, however the champion of 2017 sits an additional shot behind at eight underneath par.
There are a variety of gamers ready to make their transfer on Saturday, edging into rivalry when the wind dropped on the Sandwich venue and scoring situations improved. World primary Dustin Johnson is a type of, lurking at seven underneath after a composed 65 late on day two that included seven birdies.
Andy Sullivan and Paul Casey are additionally among the many chasing pack of home-grown challengers after taking pictures 67s and sit proper within the combine at six and 5 underneath par respectively.
Reigning US Open champion Jon Rahm climbed to 5 underneath after the Spaniard posted the joint-best rating of the day, his 64 matching Morikawa and Argentine Emiliano Grillo, who sits at six underneath. 4-time main champion Brooks Koepka can also be at 5 underneath, whereas Eire’s defending champion Shane Lowry posted a five-under 65 to achieve 4 underneath.
Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, is trying to enhance on his joint-best Open end of tied sixth in 2019 and is at present 4 underneath par, with Justin Rose a stroke additional again after making an eagle on the par-five 14th.
A bunch of huge English names sit on two underneath par – Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Matt Wallace and Ian Poulter. However they’re additionally joined by Jack Senior, who has by no means beforehand made the reduce at an Open, and Jonathan Thomson, the tallest man to play at golf’s oldest main at 6’9″.
Thomson, who overcame lymphoblastic leukaemia when he was a toddler to grasp his dream of taking part in skilled golf, made an ace on the par-three sixteenth after which birdied the seventeenth to complete two underneath and delay his main debut into the weekend.
“It’s simply phenomenal. Just like the roar, the shot, the whole lot about that gap, it’s indescribable actually,” he stated. “I simply couldn’t appear to get something going correctly then that occurred and it was simply superior. What an expertise. You dream about taking part in in The Open as a child and then you definately come right here, have a gap in a single and make the reduce, and it’s similar to, ‘wow’.”
Additional down the leaderboard, Rory McIlroy scraped into the weekend with a second consecutive error-strewn 70, though at 11 photographs off the lead his hopes of including to his main tally look as soon as once more out of attain.
Bryson DeChambeau additionally headed to the 18th gap not realizing whether or not he had completed sufficient to make the weekend, however a scrambling par noticed him put up a 70 that included 4 birdies and as many bogeys to stay on one over.
For the very newest scores from St George’s, go to www.theopen.com/leaderboard