Oosthuizen stays grounded

Louis Oosthuizen has reason to be cautious today, despite holding a commanding lead in the Open Championship.

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen had reason to be cautious today, despite holding a commanding lead in the weather-delayed Open Championship at St Andrews.
Oosthuizen added a second round 67 to his opening 65 for a halfway total of 132, 12 under par, setting a clubhouse target which was never threatened once winds gusting over 40mph whipped around the Old Course on Friday afternoon.
Those winds caused a 65-minute suspension of play and ruined Rory McIlroy’s bid to become the youngest Open champion since 1893, the overnight leader crashing from a record-equalling 63 on Thursday to an eight-over 80 to lie one under.
When the dust settled, 30 players had yet to complete their second rounds and Oosthuizen had a five-shot lead over 1989 winner Mark Calcavecchia, the 50-year-old having been in the first group out yesterday and Oosthuizen the second.
For Oosthuizen, a collective 23 over par for his three previous Open appearances, it was just a second made cut in his ninth major, but the 27-year-old knows from bitter experience not to get too carried away.
After making the cut in the 2008 USPGA Championship at Oakland Hills, Oosthuizen carded rounds of 81 and 77 to finish 73rd and last of the surviving players.
And with the prospect of further bad weather today, Oosthuizen was well aware of the need for patience and concentration.
“You’ve just got to get your head around it and enjoy it,” he said. “I was very frustrated the last four years on the course because I knew I could win a tournament on the European Tour. I’d won five in South Africa but it just never happened.
“Then I kind of got my head around it; just have fun. You’re not enjoying yourself, at least do that. For the last two years I got my head around that pretty good.
“Life isn’t just about golf, there’s a lot out there, and the win in Spain (his maiden tour title) got my confidence going quite a bit and I’ve been playing well all year.”
English duo Lee Westwood and Paul Casey were six off the pace after rounds of 71 and 69 respectively, although both had reason to be disappointed with their position.
Westwood carded 17 pars and just one birdie, while Casey carded five birdies in an outward half of 31 alone, but then ran up a triple-bogey seven on the famous 17th, taking two shots to hack out of heavy rough to the left of the fairway.
A third Englishman, unheralded Kent professional Steve Tiley, was also six under with eight holes of his second round to play today after being in the last group out on Friday.
Tiger Woods, seeking an unprecedented third Open win at St Andrews, was eight off the pace after adding a 73 to his opening 67.