Hot putting earns Oosthuizen Volvo lead

Louis Oosthuizen drained two 30 foot beauties on 17 and 18 at Durban Country Club for a late pair of birdies, which earned him the halfway lead at the Volvo Tournament of Champions.

“Today was much better ball striking. I hit the ball really well and I putted beautifully. I had the speed of the greens, so I was able to make longer putts than usual. I made two great putts on 17 and 18. I felt really comfortable over the ball, and it’s a good sign,” he said.

Heavy rain caused a two-hour delay to the start of round two, but the 2010 Open Champion took to the wet like a duck to water and went bogey-free around the Grand Old Lady. He peppered the card with eight birdies, three coming consecutively before the turn, to match the low round of the day and cruise into pole position heading into the weekend.

It’s a classy track and if you get too confident it can bite you really hard, so you still need to play really sensibly. With this type of golf course if you’re hitting it well then there’s loads of birdies out there, and in a way you need to push it as well, because it’s the type of course where someone can easily shoot eight-, nine-under on a good day. You need to be on your game to not take too many risks, but also take some holes on,” he said.

King Louis started the €2-million tournament with a rocky 68, which contained just eight pars. Friday told a different story as Oosthuizen began to sink everything he looked at. For Oosthuizen it’s a refreshing change from 2011, a year in which he couldn’t buy a putt when it counted, most famously at The Masters.

Scott Jamieson’s victory at the Nelson Mandela Championship earned him a spot at this week’s Volvo Golf Champions tournament, and now his sights are set on a Durban double as he heads into the weekend one off the pace.

“Definitely comfortable in this environment. In terms of the quality of the field, this is certainly deeper than what I managed to win with, but all you can do is play the golf course and I want to go higher after winning,” he said.

The Scotsman tore up a receptive course on Friday, making nine birdies during the round second round. The conditions had cleared by the time he signed for 64 and an 11-under-par total.

“I got off to a good start. Birdied three out of first four, and then just was very steady. Hit a lot of greens and had quite a lot of shots kind of inside 15 feet and was able to take advantage of the majority of them,” he said.

His breakthrough win came just one month ago, yet Jamieson looked at home amongst the past three Open Champions and a 33-man field who’ve collectively won more than 300 professional tournaments.

Thongchai Jaidee began the day with a one-stroke lead, but could not match the frenetic pace of Oosthuizen and Jamieson. The Thai managed a respectable 68 and will face moving day with just a stroke between himself and the front.

“Golf, you know, I enjoy myself here, I enjoy the golf course, enjoy my life and that’s most important. I hit the ball quite well and nothing happened today, just a couple of very tough putts. Difficult to read the lines and that’s most important. I’m putting well and I hit the ball very well, also, and Scott (Jamieson) also played very well. I saw both of them (Jamieson and Oosthuizen) made 8 under par today, so you can do it,” he said.

© 2016 Sunshine Tour. All rights reserved. Website constructed by OCS Sport