WATCH: ’I must be patient’, says Louis Oosthuizen who remains in the hunt at US Open
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JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen battled his way around Torrey Pines to a level par 71 in the second round of the US Open to remain in contention on Friday.
While Oosthuizen missed more greens than he did in his opening four-under 67, his efforts ensured he was just one shot behind and in perfect position at the halfway stage.
American Russell Henley and England’s Richard Bland shared the lead on five-under.
The 38-year-old Oosthuizen said he was more than happy with his position on the leaderboard.
“I think I still need to get myself in a good spot Sunday, and hopefully then I'm going to have a good day. A lot of -- like I said, this golf course, there's a lot of things that can go sideways quickly. So you need to keep focus and play well, and be calm.
“With a US Open, I know you've got to be so patient. So just knowing that everyone is going to make mistakes, and just try and do as well as you can.”
Oosthuizen was tied for the lead with two holes left when play was suspended in the first round. It meant he had to complete his round early on Friday morning. He did that without any problems as he made a couple of pars to ensure he still held a share of the lead at that stage.
While his first round featured five birdies and just one bogey, his second was more like what players can expect during a US Open. The 2010 Open champion opened round two with five straight pars before a dropped shot at the par four sixth.
Another bogey followed at the par three 11th, which meant Oosthuizen had fallen to two-under and three behind. Oosthuizen responded with birdies on the par four 14th and par five 18th to rescue his round and remain right in the hunt.
“It was short irons really. Missing a lot of greens with nine-irons, wedges in my hand. So I need to do a bit of work on that. Other than that, drove it nicely, felt like I'm putting nicely, and kept it all together today.”
Overall, Oosthuizen was satisfied with the way he was able to fight to keep a score together.
“The shots I hit in on a bunch of holes with wedges and nine-irons and sand wedge on 17 is holes where it was accessible pins where I can actually give myself a 10, 15-foot putt for birdie, and I was fighting to make par. So I take a lot out of that, and with the US Open especially, if you're out of position, you need to just minimise the score, and I did that pretty good today.”
Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Branden Grace were the next best South Africans on the leaderboard on level par, both after firing rounds of 72 and 70 in a tie for 13th.
The 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was on three-over in a share of 41st alongside Dylan Frittellli.
US Open debutant Wilco Nienaber made the weekend on four-over in a tie for 58th.
Erik van Rooyen (five-over), Garrick Higgo (six-over) and Thomas Aiken (11-over) all missed the cut.
African News Agency (ANA)