Louis sharp at Firestone ahead of PGA

Louis Oosthuizen shot the best round of the day on Friday as he carded a five-under-par 65 to move into sole possession of third at the halfway mark of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

His score was matched by Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who was two off the 11-under-par total set by Jim Furyk, with Oosthuizen one further back.

“I played nicely,” said Oosthuizen. “I mean, I missed a few shots, but made good up-and-downs on a few holes. I played really well. I drove it well and made nice putts.”

The South African winner of the 2010 Open Championship, who came so close to pulling off victory in the Masters, is getting into shape ahead of the year’s final major with the PGA Championship set for next week.

“I would just like to have a good week this week and go in knowing that I’m playing well going into next week,” he said.

He built his round by dialling it back a bit on distance off the tee, but increased accuracy as he hit 71 percent of the fairways at Firestone Country Club.

And his putting was sublime, as he needed just 25 putts for his second round compared to the 31 he took in the opening round.

“I still struggled on a few lines, to get the lines and speeds right,” he said. “I think speeds on these greens are crucial. You can get really fast putts, and I think once you get uphill putts you have to be careful not to hit it by.”

Retief Goosen was the next best of the six South Africans in the field, but he slipped to a two-over-par second round to be one-over for the tournament in a share of 20th.

Branden Grace pulled a few strokes back with his level-par round to be two-over for the tournament in a share of 44th, but Charl Schwartzel struggled to a five-over 75 and slipped to 53rd.

Open champion Ernie Els carded his second consecutive three-over 73 and was in 62nd, while Oliver Bekker started coming to terms with the course and his second-round two-over was five strokes better than his opening round.

Bekker would have taken comfort from the fact that a player of the quality of Rickie Fowler blew out to a 10-over 80.

World number one Luke Donald was on five-under at halfway, six shots off the pace, while Rory McIlroy jumped 19 spots in the standings to a share of 12th at three-under. Tiger Woods battled with his putting, and carded a two-over 72 to slip to 44th.

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