Louis Oosthuizen set a new record for the lowest total of 36 holes during the Open Championship when the 37-year-old South African added a second round 65 to his first 64 to lead the tournament in the half with two strokes. .
On a day of low points in a sunny Royal St George’s, Oosthuizen draws tries with an eagle on the par-five 14th, but his first bow of the tournament on the 15th, followed by three parks, sees his lead to two blows by closing game.
That gives him a total of 129 holes out of 129, which is the lowest in Open history, and the total of 130 by Nick Faldo at Muirfield in 1992 and Brandt Snedeker 20 years later at Royal Lytham & St Annes. The world number 13 must now turn his advantage into a second major victory, having achieved six runners-up, including during the 2015 Open, since lifting the Claret Jug 11 years ago.
Oosthuizen is being chased by a high class field, including 2020 PGA Champion Collin Morikawa, who set the former target of nine at the bottom in round two after shooting the Kent links in just 64 shots on Friday morning in glittering conditions. Fellow American Jordan Spieth’s 67 could have been several strokes better if a hate pit hadn’t jumped out, but the 2017 champion puts a further stroke behind at eight under par.
There are a number of players waiting to make their move on Saturday as the wind picks up at the Sandwich venue and improves the scoring conditions. The world’s number one Dustin Johnson is one of those hiding at seven under to a compound 65 late on day two with seven birdies.
Andy Sullivan and Paul Casey are also one of the drivers of homemade challengers after shooting 67s and getting right at six and five below par.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm climbed to five under after the Spaniard scored the overall best score of the day, his 64-matched Morikawa and Argentine Emiliano Grillo, who sits at six under. Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka is also down five, while Ireland defending champion Shane Lowry has posted a five-under-65 to four.
Danny Willett, the 2016 Champion of Champions, wants to improve on his combined best Open final of sixth draw in 2019 and is currently four below par, with Justin Rose a shot further behind after making an eagle on the 14th par-five.
A number of big English names are on two under par – Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Matt Wallace and Ian Poulter. But they are also accompanied by Jack Senior, who has never made a turn in an Open before, and Jonathan Thomson, the tallest man to play at 6’9 at in golf’s oldest major.
Thomson, who overcame lymphoblastic leukemia when he was a child to realize his dream of playing professional golf, made an ace on the par-three 16th and then flew the 17th to finish two under and his to extend big debut this weekend.
“It simply came to our notice then. “Like the roar, the shot, all over that hole, it’s really indescribable,” he said. ‘It looks like I could not get anything going properly, and it was great. What an experience. You dream of playing as a kid in The Open, and then you come here, make a hole in one and make the cut, and it’s just like ‘wow’. ”
Further on the standings, Rory McIlroy scraped over the weekend with a second consecutive error 70, although he was 11 strokes ahead, hoping to widen his outside view again.
Bryson DeChambeau was also on his way to the 18th hole without knowing if he had done enough to catch up over the weekend, but a scrambled pair saw him post a 70 that included four birdies and so many bogeys to put on one in front to stay.
For the latest St George’s scores, visit www.theopen.com/leaderboard