Golf

Louis in charge at Africa Open

2012-01-07 11:13
Louis Oosthuizen (File)
East London - South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen continued his love affair with the Africa Open when he asserted his dominance at East London Golf Club with a flawless 11-under-par 62 to open up a two shot lead on Friday.

The defending champion, who was misfiring on the greens on day one, rode a hot putter to collect nine birdies and an eagle for a two-hole total of 15-under-par 131.

Oosthuizen leads over countrymen Thomas Aiken, Tjaart van der Walt, Retief Goosen and Jaco Ahlers, with Sweden’s Magnus A Carlsson alone in sixth at 12 under and Britons Danny Willett, Tommy Fleetwood, Alastair Forsyth and Craig Lee hovering at 11 under.

Two-time Major winner Goosen retuned a 68, Aiken carded 69 and Van der Walt, brandishing a sparkling new European Tour card, played his way into contention with a nine-under-par 64 that included a birdie-ace-eagle run. Unheralded Ahlers joined the bus at 13 under with a late afternoon 68.

After two weeks of jet-skiing on the Orange River near in-laws farm in the Northern Cape, Oosthuizen said he didn’t quite have the feel for the greens in the first round.

He certainly found the recipe on Friday, holing out for nine birdies and sinking a superb 60-footer at the par-four sixth for eagle to shift his title defence into high gear.

“I wasn’t really feeling the putts on Thursday,” he explained. “I left a couple of putts short, so I decided to get more aggressive with the putter and it paid off.

“It wasn’t all smooth sailing. I went six foot past a few times and had to make those for par. At my last hole, the eighth, I hit one so hard that it probably would have gone eight to 10 foot past the hole, but luckily it hit the middle of the cup.

“You can afford to play like that in the morning when the greens are still smooth, but in the afternoon the grass grows fast and they get a little bumpy. I think I’ll probably stay aggressive if the weather holds, though.”

Two-time Major winner Goosen underlined his putting prowess when he steered a crucial eight-footer into the hole for birdie at the last to finish just two behind last year’s winner.

“I guess that’s why I was named best putter on the European Tour last year,” Goosen chuckled.

“I was happy to finish with that birdie at the last, though. It’s nice to be just that one shot closer to the lead; instead of three behind you’re now just two off the pace and that’s a good place to be with 36 holes to play.”

Meanwhile Aiken dropped his first shot in 36 holes at the par-four 18th, but the 2011 Spanish Open champion was relieved that he could limit a careless drive to just a bogey.

“It would have been nice to go 36 holes without a dropped shot, but I hit a poor tee shot,” he said. “On this course that’s the price you pay.

“For the rest, I’m very happy with my swing. I’m hitting the ball well and the putter is working nicely. It’s nice to be in this position so early in the season and after a break.”

The overnight leader thinks Oosthuizen could be the man to beat.

“Louis had an incredible round today. He took advantage of the conditions and got aggressive and played superbly. When he gets going like this he is hard to beat, but I think the guy who brings the hottest putter this weekend, will be the one to walk away with the title.”

The cut, which was made to 65 and ties and fell at five-under-par, will see 82 players challenge for a share of the €1-million purse this weekend.

Scores (RSA unless specified):

131 - Louis Oosthuizen 69 62
133 - Tjaart van der Walt 69 64, Retief Goosen 65 68, Thomas Aiken 64 69, Jaco Ahlers 65 68
134 - Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 69 65
135 - Alastair Forsyth(SCO) 69 66, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 69 66, Craig Lee (SCO) 68 67, Danny Willett (ENG) 67 68
136 - Matthew Baldwin (ENG) 72 64, Keith Horne 69 67, Benn Barham (ENG) 70 66, Jaco Van Zyl 71 65, Richard Bland (ENG) 67 69, Tyrone Ferreira 68 68
137 - Sam Walker (ENG) 69 68, Phillip Price (WAL) 66 71, Shaun Norris 67 70, David Howell (ENG) 68 69, Tim Sluiter (NED) 68 69, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 71 66, Joshua Cunliffe 69 68
138 - Richard Sterne 69 69, Adam Gee (ENG) 69 69, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 69 69, Sam Hutsby (ENG) 73 65, Knut Borsheim (NOR) 70 68, Taco Remkes (NED) 68 70, JJ Senekal 67 71, Peter Karmis 68 70, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA) 71 67, Grant Muller 69 69
139 - Ruan de Smidt 69 70, Ockie Strydom 70 69, Oliver Wilson (ENG) 70 69, Doug McGuigan 70 69, George Coetzee 71 68, Charles-Edouard Russo (FRA) 67 72, Bryce Easton 69 70, Allan Versfeld 69 70, Merrick Bremner 69 70, Jacques Blaauw 70 69, Agustin Domingo (ESP) 68 71, Wil Besseling (NED) 69 70, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 73 66, Ariel Canete (ARG) 71 68, Andrew Marshall (ENG) 74 65, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 71 68
140 - Maarten Lafeber (NED) 67 73, Danie van Tonder 70 70, Garth Mulroy 68 72, Alessandro Tadini (ITA) 70 70, Desvonde Botes 69 71, Branden Grace 77 63, Julien Quesne (FRA) 69 71, Titch Moore 74 66, Phillip Archer (ENG) 73 67, Albert Pistorius 71 69, Chris Wood (ENG) 69 71, JG Claassen 68 72, Dawie Van der Walt 70 70, Steven O'Hara (SCO) 70 70, Edouard Dubois (FRA) 69 71
141 - Lyle Rowe 73 68, Dean O'Riley 66 75, Jordi Garcia (ESP) 68 73, Jamie Elson (ENG) 70 71, Vaughn Groenewald 73 68, Andrew Georgiou 75 66, Michiel Bothma 72 69, Justin Walters 73 68, David Drysdale (SCO) 72 69, Warren Abery 71 70, Darren Fichardt 71 70, James Kingston 70 71, Matthew Nixon (ENG) 70 71, Scott Pinckney (USA) 69 72, Reinier Saxton (NED) 71 70, Hendrik Buhrmann 72 69, Jamie Moul (ENG) 70 71, Alan McLean (SCO) 70 71
Missed the cut:-
142 - Michael du Toit 66 76, Daniel Gaunt (AUS) 73 69, Joel Sjoholm (SWE) 71 71, Pelle Edberg (SWE) 70 72, Oliver Bekker 70 72, Alex Haindl 72 70, Simon Thornton (IRL) 69 73, Lloyd Saltman (SCO) 73 69, David Hewan 70 72, Ryan Tipping 71 71, Julien Guerrier (FRA) 68 74, Jbe' Kruger 75 67, Adrian Otaegui (ESP) 70 72, Sam Little (ENG) 70 72, Trevor Fisher Jnr 71 71, Robert Dinwiddie (ENG) 71 71, Ulrich van den Berg 70 72, Tyrone Mordt 74 68
143 - Theunis Spangenberg 69 74, Neil Schietekat 71 72, Jean Hugo 72 71, Jake Roos 69 74, Steven Jeppesen (SWE) 71 72, Divan van den Heever 74 69, Chris Swanepoel 74 69, Matthew Southgate (ENG) 73 70, John Peterson (USA) 73 70
144 - Graham van der Merwe 70 74, Ricardo Santos (POR) 72 72, George Murray (SCO) 72 72, Andrew Johnston (ENG) 73 71, Christiaan Basson 72 72, Scott Strange (ENG) 73 71, Roope Kakko (FIN) 70 74, Justin Harding 71 73
145 - Andrew Curlewis 73 72, Benjamin Hebert (FRA) 73 72, Frederico Colombo (ITA) 68 77, Bernd Ritthammer (GER) 71 74, Thomas Norret (DEN) 72 73, John Parry (ENG) 71 74, Raymond Russell (SCO) 71 74, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 71 74, Lloyd Kennedy (ENG) 74 71, Victor Riu (FRA) 76 69
146 - Thabo Maseko 71 75, Peter Gustafsson (SWE) 72 74, Guillaume Cambis (FRA) 73 73, Reggie Adams 73 73, Paul Bradshaw 72 74, Peter Hedblom (SWE) 72 74, Damien McGrane (IRL) 74 72, Mikael Lundberg(SWE) 75 71, Matthew Carvell 72 74
147 - Prinavin Nelson 75 72, Daniel Denison (ENG) 72 75, Alvaro Velasco (ESP) 72 75, Martin Maritz 74 73, Markus Brier (AUT) 71 76, HP Bacher (AUT) 73 74
148 - Daniel Greene 72 76, Colin Nel 76 72, PH McIntyre 73 75, Andrea Pavan (ITA) 73 75, Robert Wiederkehr (SUI) 72 76
149 - Andre Cruse 74 75
150 - Bradford Vaughan 73 77, Chris Gane (ENG) 72 78, Brandon Pieters 77 73, Thomas Lovett 76 74
152 - Richard Finch (ENG) 76 76
154 - Greg Petzer 73 81
155 - Adrien Bernadet (FRA) 80 75
156 - Alpheus Kelapile 83 73

Read more on:    africa open  |  louis oosthuizen
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