Louis looms midway through Volvo Champions

Louis Oosthuizen continued to threaten at the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban and shot 69 for the second round to share the halfway lead with Joost Luiten and Tommy Fleetwood on seven-under-par.

 

“The way I struck the ball today, to shoot that round; I'm confident in tomorrow to try to make a few more birdies,” said Oosthuizen.

 

The 31-year-old was ready to defend his title at Durban Country Club and, despite wobbling to a bogey six at the par-five eighth, made good par saves throughout the round to stay on top of the leaderboard.

 

“Holing out a lot of good par putts and had a few good chips to save my pars, but that's what you have to do to stay up there, and I still feel good heading into the weekend, so just need to play a little bit better tomorrow,” he said.

 

The 2010 Open Champion grew up in Mossel Bay, a place “where the wind is born”, and had no difficulty scoring in the stormy conditions of the second round. While overnight leader Raphael Jacquelin faded to four-under, Oosthuizen hung tough and made eight pars to close out the round.

 

“The way I was hitting it the last few holes, I'll take that,” said Oosthuizen. “I feel that with the wind condition it was tough. Yesterday you felt like you could still make two or three birdies on those holes, and today I was just making saves to finish par,” he said.

 

Luiten set the pace with a Friday 67 that gave him the clubhouse lead on seven-under, but the feather in his cap was his albatross at the 10th. The hole played at 512 metres on Friday, which turned out to be the perfect distance for the Dutchman.

 

“My first albatross. I hit a good drive middle of the fairway, 227 metres left to the pin.  Hit a four‑iron and basically went straight at it, just pitched exactly where I wanted, just front of the green, and then hopefully releases up the slope and that's what it did. It went straight at the pin and went in.  So, yeah, it was a good feeling,” he said.

 

Young star Fleetwood tied the lead with his own 67 on Friday. The Englishman took a maiden win at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last year, which has changed his confidence amongst Europe’s best.

 

“The difference in your mind set is huge. You get into this tournament, and just being surrounded by the best players is a massive learning experience.  You can't buy it and you have to win to get it, almost. It's made me a better golfer by an absolute mile just by winning,” he said.

 

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