Louis Oosthuizen/ getty images
Louis Oosthuizen shot an amazing second round of -9 under par 63 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Mission Hills, China, taking him to -16 under par for the tournament and five shots clear of the field.
Louis won the 2010 Open Championship from five shots clear after two rounds on the Old Course at St Andrews, and now a course record 63 in the second round here at Mission Hills saw the South African establish another commanding halfway lead. Louis thinks this contest is far from over though;
” Scoreboard-wise, it’s probably the same as St Andrews. Looking at the leaderboard, there’s so many great players up there. Like I said, it’s far from over. It was probably the same at The Open. With this tournament I’m in a great position to win it, but it’s not even crossed my mind at the moment. There’s still a lot of golf to be played, and I need to put myself in a great position going down the back nine on Sunday. I played the par fives really well, and I think I was six under on them today, “I played the par fives really well, and I think I was six under on them today, the rest was down to putting really well. I gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdie, and hitting fairways, hitting greens, and if you make the putts, you shoot a low number. The par fives, I think I can reach all of them, which makes it easy, if you’re hitting it well just get yourself around the green. I really didn’t make a lot of eagle putts, I just was really close to the green, which led to getting up-and-down and I hit really good chips on a few today for some tap ins for birdie. You get those days where if you hit it well, you leave yourself in a decent spot for a chip-and-putt for a birdie on the par fives.”
There are two players tied in second spot, five shots off the pace, they are Adam Scott, a first round leader, and Ernie Els, a countryman of Louis. Ernie matched Louis on the day with his -9 under par round, and said he was just happy to be able to play golf this week after a tennis related injury last week that forced him out of the PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda. In a strange twist to that tale, his replacement in that tournament was Padraig Harrington, who actually won the title. Ernie thought his 63 today was a bonus;
“I obviously had a good start and all of that, but I wish I can always play like that. I’m just glad to be here, after going down on the tennis court two weeks ago, to stand here and shoot 63 is quite a bonus.”
In joint fourth spot are Ireland’s Shane Lowry, who is bidding for a second win in three starts and a place in the Official World Golf Ranking’s top 50 for the first time, and American Ryder Cup player Jason Dufner, but they are six strokes behind. Shane said he was happy with his days play;
” I didn’t birdie two easy par fives and made a bad bogey on the sixth, but other than that I played lovely all day and gave myself a lot of chances. What’s not to enjoy? I’m playing a World Golf Championship and I’m up there in the top five going into the weekend.”
The way Mission Hills is playing, calm and easy, I don’t see anyone else catching up to these players over the weekend, the tournament is definitely Louis Oosthuizen’s to lose.