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Page last updated at 21:50 GMT, Friday, 16 July 2010 22:50 UK

The Open 2010: Louis Oosthuizen takes halfway lead

The Open Championship, St Andrews, 15-18 July
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Louis Oosthuizen

The 2010 Open - Day two highlights

By Rob Hodgetts
BBC Sport at St Andrews

South African Louis Oosthuizen escaped the strong winds that wreaked havoc on day two to race into a five-shot halfway lead in the Open at St Andrews.

The 27-year-old fired a five-under-par 67 in calm but wet morning conditions to reach 12 under as first-round leader Rory McIlroy was blown off the course and crumbled to a round of 80, 17 shots worse than his opener.

The 50-year-old Mark Calcavecchia, the 1989 Open champion, also carded a 67 to climb into second, while English pair Lee Westwood and Paul Casey were tied for third on six under after rounds of 71 and 69 respectively.

606: DEBATE

Another Englishman Steven Tiley was also six under after 10 holes before play was stopped at 2145 BST.

Tiley, 27, is one of 30 players who will have to finish his second round on Saturday after more than an hour was lost from 1440 BST because of 40mph gusts causing balls to move on the greens.

The projected cut stands at two over but it could change following those finishes.

World number one Tiger Woods battled to a 73 to end four under to keep alive his hopes of a 15th major title and third Open in a row at St Andrews.

Oosthuizen tops Open leaderboard

"It was certainly one of the tougher days I've ever played," Woods said. "We had to grind it out, gut it out."

But Woods's playing partner Justin Rose, twice a winner in America in recent weeks, collapsed to a 77 for three over and is unlikely to feature in the final two rounds.

US Open champion Graeme McDowell shot 68 for five under alongside a large group which included 51-year-old Tom Lehman, the 1996 Open champion, two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen and popular Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Phil Mickelson, the world number two, carded 71 for level par alongside England's world number seven Luke Donald (73), European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie (71) and world number four Steve Stricker (74).

Ernie Els carded 79 for four over and Padraig Harrington took 77 for six over to also miss the cut.

In an emotional goodbye on the Swilcan Bridge, the 60-year-old Tom Watson, the five-time winner who finished runner-up 12 months ago, brought an end to his Open Championship career at St Andrews following a 75 which left him four over.

ROB HODGETTS BLOG

Oosthuizen, who won his maiden European Tour title earlier this year, has missed the cut in seven of his eight previous major appearances but took advantage of the benign morning conditions to back up his opening 65.

"I'm very confident with the way I'm playing," stated Oosthuizen, a product of Ernie Els's Foundation.

"It's probably the position anyone wants to be in playing a major on the weekend, and I think it's what we work to achieve, and I'm just very happy with the two rounds I put together."

Calcavecchia, who recently joined the seniors' tour in America, also escaped the strong afternoon winds after going off in the first group out at 0630 BST.

"It was actually beautiful when we teed off. Then we saw a little bit of everything," commented the 50-year-old Calcavecchia.

"I've been playing decent really the last month or so and it's carrying over."

But the wind caused havoc after lunch and McIlroy was the biggest casualty after leading Oosthuizen by two before the round.

Northern Ireland's McIlroy lost eight shots when play resumed at 1545 BST and afterwards he bemoaned the suspension.

"I don't think they should have called us off," the 21-year-old told reporters. "It probably wasn't a smart move. It was very, very difficult out there. I just let it get away from me a little bit."

Darren Clarke

Shot of the day - day two

World number three Westwood was unable to build any momentum but he and Casey found themselves creeping up the leaderboard as the day progressed.

"I should really be 10 under at worst," said Westwood. "I'm just a bit rusty on the greens, which we can sharpen over the weekend. No matter what the conditions are, I've still got a couple of good scores in me."

McDowell improved by four shots after admitting his focus was off on Thursday but was another to benefit from the absence of a charge by the second half of the field.

"Its weird saying I'm in contention when I'm seven back but there's not too many guys in front of me," he reflected.

"This is a major weekend. Obviously weather is going to be a huge element and I'm happy to be in position. But I'm going into the weekend with no expectations."

Tiger Woods tees-off on the 18th

Woods' amazing near hole-in-one



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see also
The Open day two - as it happened
16 Jul 10 |  Golf
McIlroy deflated after Open slump
16 Jul 10 |  Golf
Woods remains in Open contention
16 Jul 10 |  Golf
The Open day two photos
16 Jul 10 |  Golf
Open Championship R4 tee times
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
Magic McIlroy leads at St Andrews
15 Jul 10 |  Golf
Woods surprised by Open scoring
15 Jul 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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