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The 149th Open Royal St George's

Louis Oosthuizen


36-hole record feels ‘special’ for Open leader

Louis Oosthuizen cap salute

Setting a new Open record through 36 holes feels ‘special’ for Louis Oosthuizen but the 2010 Champion Golfer will not allow himself to dream of a second Claret Jug just yet.

Oosthuizen was part of a trio who each dazzled on Friday afternoon, with playing partners Jon Rahm and Shane Lowry shooting 64 and 65 respectively, and the 38-year-old will take a two-stroke lead into the weekend.

“I only heard [about the record] when I walked in, I was not aware of what it was before,” he said.

“To have any record at The Open is always very special and I think I have played really good the last two days.

“I probably played a bit better yesterday given the conditions we were playing in. The last nine holes today was as good weather as you can get playing this golf course and all of us took advantage of that.

“In our three-ball, we had a 64 and two 65s which you do not really see in links golf.”

Following a typically consistent start to his round, Oosthuizen truly hit his straps in a brilliant spell between the 12th and the 14th.

Two birdies were followed by an eagle and though he later dropped his first shot of the Championship on the 16th, he responded with a clutch putt to save par at 17 before doing likewise on the last to keep Collin Morikawa at arm’s length.

“I made a horrible mistake on 16, I was not ready to hit that shot,” he said.

“I wanted to know one more thing in my head before hitting it but that happens, it was a mental mistake.

“At 17, I went way too aggressive on that pin when it was not the time to. I had a lot of hard work to make the par and it was a big putt to make.”

Oosthuizen may be perfectly placed but having recorded a string of runners-up finishes in majors since his convincing triumph at St Andrews 11 years ago, including two this year, he knows better than anyone not to count his chickens.

“You try not to think of it until you have done it,” he said.

“In 2010, I know I had a big lead, but the first time I felt I could win the tournament was after my tee shot at 17.

“There were a lot of things that could go wrong at St Andrews coming in.

“On this golf course, a lot of things could happen and on a links course you do not want to think about it until the 18th when hopefully you have a lead.

“It is a really good leaderboard and I will have to play good golf this weekend if I want to come out first."

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