Oosthuizen faces Choi challenge

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The Independent Online

South Korea's KJ Choi will try to bridge a seven-year gap in Stockholm this weekend – and with it stop the new Open champion Louis Oosthuizen from making a piece of European Tour history.

No winner of the Claret Jug has ever gone on to lift another trophy on the circuit a week later, but the South African still has that chance after adding a two-under-par 70 yesterday to his opening 67 at the Nordea Scandinavian Masters.

However Choi, whose only previous victory in Europe was the 2003 German Masters, is two ahead of Oosthuizen at halfway, with the Swede Richard Johnson sandwiched between them.

In what looked like desperation two weeks ago Choi switched to a bizarre-looking side-saddle putting method once used by the great Sam Snead. But after missing the cut at the John Deere Classic and then in the Open at St Andrews, the 40-year-old has gone back to a conventional style.

"I need more practice at it. These greens are very slopey," said Choi, who despite going round in 67 yesterday missed a succession of makeable putts over the closing stretch. Earlier, though, he had eagled the long 15th, his sixth hole of the day, and birdied three of the next four to open a five-stroke lead.

Oosthuizen, joint overnight leader, had his misses on the greens too, but has no plans for any drastic changes. "I think I'll stick to my routine," said the 27-year-old. The other overnight leader, American Dustin Johnson, fell back to five shots off the pace with a second-round 73.