Oosthuizen takes surprise lead in Open

Louis Oosthuizen added his name to the list of surprise leaders of The Open at St Andrews today before 40mph gusts suspended play for just over an hour in mid-afternoon.

In eight previous majors the 27-year-old South African had missed seven halfway cuts - and in the other he then slumped to rounds of 81 and 77 and finished last.



But after adding a five under par 67 to his opening 65 Oosthuizen will go into the weekend on a championship record-equalling 12 under par.



Not that he could be sure of going to bed at the top of the leaderboard.



When the action resumed at 3.45pm Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, one of the late starters following his record-breaking opening 63, had played only three holes.



From two ahead overnight, however, the 21-year-old had fallen three behind and that became four when he bogeyed the 480-yard fourth.



Tiger Woods, winner of the last two Opens at the Home of Golf and round in 67 on day one, had even longer to wait than McIlroy to try to bridge an even wider gap.



A three-putt bogey on the first green - the first was left eight feet short just before the decision was taken to bring the players in - dropped the world number one to four under and eight adrift.



Nearest to Oosthuizen in the clubhouse at that stage was 50-year-old Mark Calcavecchia, seven under par and continuing the recent trend of golden oldies making their presence felt.



England's Paul Casey would have been only three behind but for a triple bogey seven at the feared 17th, where he needed two attempts to get out of rough that he would like to see "thinned out" on such a tough hole.



Casey still likes where he is in the tournament - but not as much as Oosthuizen.



"It's probably the position anyone wants to be in," said the man who won his first European Tour title in Spain in March and with it climbed into the world's top 50 to qualify for The Masters.



"It's what we work to achieve and I'm just very happy with the two rounds I put together."



So he should be. Although he teed off at 6.41am, long before the course became unplayable, he had to play through driving rain and yet had a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth to move out in front.



There were ups and downs after that, but a closing birdie enabled him to match the record mark - in relation to par - established by Nick Faldo and Greg Norman at the venue in 1990.



"St Andrews is where it all started. I think it's everyone's dream to win the Open Championship, but to win it at St Andrews is just...you never really think it'll happen."



He just laughed, though, when somebody asked if his major record might have made him fix up other things for the weekend.



"I was planning on making the cut. I've booked a house until Sunday night," he said.



Casey's adventure on the 17th - he did come back with a birdie on the last - means he goes into the weekend alongside world number three Lee Westwood.



Third last year at Turnberry, Westwood has kept himself in the hunt despite his ruptured calf muscle.



His second round 71 contained 17 pars and a lone birdie on the long fifth.



Only one further back after a seven-birdie 68 is US Open champion Graeme McDowell, but Masters winner Phil Mickelson improved only two shots on his opening 73 to be down on level par.



Justin Rose, playing with Woods, also three-putted the first and was one under.













McIlroy, magnificent a day earlier, had further bogeys on the sixth and seventh as the wind continued to cause havoc.

That left Calcavecchia alone in second place, albeit five shots behind Oosthuizen, while the 21-year-old fell alongside Casey, Westwood, German Marcel Siem and Kent-based Challenge Tour player Steve Tiley, who was in the last group of the day and teed off just before 5.30pm.



Woods, having also bogeyed the second, hit his second way right on the 568-yard fifth, but it came to rest against a buggy and after taking a drop on trampled-down grass he not only saved his par, but birdied to get back to four under.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect