Van Zyl leading chase with Oosthuizen in Alfred Dunhill Links

Jaco van Zyl and fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen are just one and two shots off the lead respectively at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, after both shooting impressive five-under-par 67s at Carnoustie.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood took a share of the lead after a barnstorming nine-under-par 63 in the sun at Kingsbarns. Fleetwood, 20, who has been a professional for just over a year, put together a scintillating second round of nine birdies to tie on 12-under-par with Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey, who scored 66, also at Kingsbarns.

Oosthuizen and Van Zyl are joined at the top end of the leaderboard by fellow South Africans Alex Haindl (-6), Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (-6), Jbe’ Kruger (-5) and James Kingston (-4).

Speaking after his round, the 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen said: “I’m hitting it well and putting well. I just had a few loose ones today at the end today, 15 and 18 and other than that, I’m pretty confident going into the weekend.”

Rikus Oosthuizen, the brother of Louis and playing alongside him in the tournament, said: “This is my first time playing here and I cannot believe how brilliant it is. I’ve loved the last two days – well the whole week so far to be honest – and we’ve still got the Old Course to come. It’s just an honour to be here. Obviously it’s great to play with my brother and our team score is not too bad. But the trouble is, every time I make a birdie so does he and so my score doesn’t count! “

Former Springbok Schalk Burger, who watched his son Schalk play for the South African rugby team earlier i n the day, said: “I managed to watch the whole of the South Africa v Samoa game before teeing off this morning – I thought I was going to miss the second half but in fact our tee off time was a bit later than I’d been led to believe so it was good to do that before getting out on to the course on such a beautiful day. I thought the Samoans played very well and they are a tough side, so for South Africa to win is good enough at this stage. If Samoa has been in any other group I think they would have made the quarter finals for sure. We’ve now got Australia in the quarter finals and I think South Africa will win. There are obviously a few selection issues but I thought a big factor of the game today was that the referee allowed the game to get away from him a bit.”

Former South Africa rugby star Morné du Plessis, who is playing in the tournament with professional David Horsey, said: “This tournament is the ultimate golfing experience for an amateur. It is the Home of Golf and every year you look for the magic to happen. I’d love to make the cut, that is always what is in the back of the mind, but if it doesn’t happen it is still a privilege. We missed the Springboks match today as we were out on the course this morning but all the South Africans are getting together. We had it taped, we’re going to put our Springbok caps on and watch it as live tonight.”

Retief Goosen, who shot a two-under-par 70 at Carnoustie, said: “Today for the first time in the last six months my body was starting to fire but the last two holes then spoilt it. Yesterday my putter let me down but the putting was much better today and after 16 holes I was five under par for the round and very happy. But then I blocked my second shot on the 17th into a bush, had an unplayable lie and had to take a drop. I ended up with a double bogey there and then on the 18th I went into the water. So overall very disappointing but my back has felt good over the last two days and the physio that I have been doing is clearly working – helped by this wonderful warm weather, of course. Considering that I didn’t know whether I would be able to play this week I suppose it is encouraging.”

The prestigious Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is played over three of the world’s best known and respected links courses – the Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and the highly regarded Kingsbarns Golf Links.

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