NEW YORK – South Africa’s hopes of another Major win may be slim at this point but Erik van Rooyen and Louis Oosthuizen remain in the hunt after the second round of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in New York on Friday.
The talk is rightly centred on America's Brooks Koepka. He leads by seven in his title defence after adding a 65 to his scintillating opener of 63. The American is in full control and after setting the record low 36-hole score in Major history, it’s not hard to imagine that the rest of the field are playing for second.
South Africa, though, have two horses in the race with Van Rooyen and Oosthuizen matching each other almost stroke for stroke.
The one is the new school, the other an established part of the old school. Both are 10 back of Koepka’s mark after 68s on Friday.
Van Rooyen gathered some attention early as he went out with four birdies in eight holes before his second slip of the day at the ninth. That cost him a shot but he was back at with a birdie on the difficult 12th hole as he rolled in a putt from 32 foot.
A missed fairway at 16 saw him drop back to two under for the day and that’s where he finished.
Oosthuizen matched that thanks largely to four birdies around the turn as his putter warmed up nicely to put him in a share of 10th with two rounds to play.
The margins at Bethpage’s Black course are thin but any let up from Koepka, however unlikely it may seem, will be grabbed up by the challengers behind him.
In that case, South African fans will be pleased to have two options.
Further down the field, Justin Harding made it three Saffas in the weekend after a 70 saw him make the cut on the number.
Africa News Agency (ANA)