Journeyman Oosthuizen rides luck of the draw as rivals twist in the wind

The old course took its revenge on the young leader in chilling fashion here yesterday. After a 63 in the first round, Rory McIlroy shot an 80 in the second round. Seventeen shots difference, so nearly one for each hole. The crestfallen Ulsterman was the poster boy for an X-rated show.

So Lodewicus Theodorus Oosthuizen was the name that everyone had to get their wind-chapped lips around last night. The opening calm of the 139th Open Championship gave way to gust-ridden mayhem. Yes, St Andrews struck back, downing Rory with her 40mph gusts. But only after allowing an unheralded South African to steal a remarkable five-stroke march on the field.

In fairness to Oosthuizen – known as Louis in the programme and Shrek to his friends – his early-morning 67 for a championship-equalling halfway total of 12-under was beautifully composed in grey conditions that could only be classed as easy in relation to the hell to follow. Like his nearest pursuers on the scoreboard – Mark Calcavecchia on seven-under, England's Paul Casey and Lee Westwood nicely placed on six-under – he made the most of his good fortune. Oh how he must have enjoyed returning to his hotel room sometime before lunch to watch the havoc ensue.

The afternoon starters who had capitalised on the benign birdie-filled millpond of the morning before were now presented with a bogey-laden whirlpool. There were 13 scores in the 80s and there may be a few more when 30 players resume at 6.30am to finish their rounds. With the scoring average leaping up five shots, it was fair to say the links lottery had balanced the books somewhat. From hitting the jackpot, McIlroy hit dirt.

"I've never experienced anything like that before," he said. "It was a complete contrast. It was very, very difficult and I just let it get to me." And not just the conditions, either. At 2.40pm the hooters sounded across Fife. Balls were oscillating on the greens and with the ridiculous rule which says a player will be penalised if the ball moves when addressed, the officials felt obliged to suspend play. McIlroy didn't see the point. "I don't think they should have called us off the course," he said. "When we got back out there the conditions hadn't changed; in fact the wind had probably got a little bit worse. It wasn't a smart move."

Should they have been brought off? Should they have been brought back on? Should they have been brought in, even, instead of having to sit in vans parked by their fairways? It was total chaos. Initially, the crowd was none the wiser as to what was going on, although Tom Watson should be applauded for walking over to a disabled section in the galleries on the first fairway and explaining the scenario. For 65 minutes they waited. Then the carnage resumed.

From looking rather comfortable in parring the first three, McIlroy returned to bogey four of the next five. What a wildly contrasting figure the 21-year-old cut as his devastation intensified on the back nine. A four-putt on the 11th, further bogeys on the 13th and 15th. "I did well to par the last three," he sighed.

There was notable bravery, including the 73 by Tiger Woods. The world No 1 summoned all his recovery powers to stay in the hunt at four-under. He so almost produced the characteristic grandstand finish when driving his ball to 12 feet on the par-four 18th. Somehow the eagle putt stayed out and Woods threw his putter in anger.

And all the while Louis rubbed his hands. The world No 54 had come into this championship with a record in the majors to inspire dread rather than hope. Oosthuizen had appeared in eight majors before and missed the cut in seven of them. The one time he had made the weekend – at the 2008 USPGA – he finished dead last. "It's probably the position anyone wants to be in playing a major on the weekend," said Oosthuizen.

With the flags pointing straight outwards there was no "probably" about it, although Casey and Westwood will be more than satisfied with their position. The former has been suffering with a throat infection, but produced the latest advert for the miracle of antibiotics with a second successive 69. It would have been so much better had he not treble-bogeyed the Road hole 17th after a visit to the daftly thick rough on the left. But as he put it: "If you'd offered me six-under at this point I would have snapped your arm off."

His countryman was not so enthused with the same total, but then Westwood has high expectations at every major nowadays. "I should be 10-under," said the world No 3 after again three-putting the last green. "But I'm right there." Indeed, he is and with his calf injury painful but clearly manageable he must have one heck of a shout of ending the 11-year void of home winners at The Open.

Alas, there will no dream reprise of Watson's heroics at Turnberry last year. The 60-year-old was far from disgraced with a 75, but at four-over his tournament is over. As is his career at St Andrews, this being the last Open he will contest here. When the hooter blessedly sounded to signal the end of play at 9.50pm, Watson was on the 18th. So, as the legends do, he stopped on the Swilcan Bridge to wave his goodbye. A touching scene to climax a day otherwise devoid of sentiment.

Open left in suspense

Yesterday's was the first suspension of play in the Open Championship due to wind since 1998 at Royal Birkdale. Two years ago there was a brief wind delay, again at Birkdale, but it was not official as the players remained in position to restart. Stewart Cink, the defending champion here, recalled the previous suspension 12 years ago. "The wind then was blowing at least 10 miles per hour faster than today. But that delay only lasted 30 or 40 minutes," the American said. Yesterday's suspension was called at 2.40pm and play restarted at 3.45pm.

Old Course Leader Board

12 under L Oosthuizen (SA)

7 under M Calcavecchia (US)

6 under P Casey; L Westwood; A Canizares (Sp); S Tiley

5 under T Lehman (US); R Barnes (US); P Hanson (Swe); M A Jimenez (Sp); G McDowell; R Goosen (SA); T Woods (US); J Jeong (Kor)

4 under I Garrido (Sp); T Taniguchi (Japan); R Karlsson (Swe); M Kaymer (Ger); N Watney (US); S O'Hair (US); R Ishikawa (Japan); F Andersson Hed (Swe)

News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEpic YouTube video features boundary-pushing staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star