At the halfway stage in the 121st US Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, six of the nine South Africans have made the cut and will play the weekend.
One shot off the lead held by Richard Bland and Russell Henley, Louis Oosthuizen continues to lead South Africa’s quest for a first US Open title since Retief Goosen’s triumph at Shinnecock Hills in 2004. A solid even-par round of 71 in round two has Oosthuizen teeing off in the second-to-last pairing with young American Matthew Wolff.
Taking advantage of their consistent run of good form, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Branden Grace are tied for 13th place and within striking distance of the lead with 36 holes to play. The South Course at Torrey Pines will only continue to play more and more difficult as the tournament progresses, so a good performance in the third round will almost certainly help reduce the deficit at the top.
Playing the weekend but just making the cut are Dylan Frittelli and Charl Schwartzel on three over par, as well as young Wilco Nienaber a further shot back.
After missed cuts at the PGA Championship, both Frittelli and Schwartzel will be pleased with their improved showing and will no doubt be striving for a strong performance in the final two rounds. Getting his first taste of Major championship golf, Nienaber continues to fire on the biggest stage in golf as he looks to gain more experience in a promising start to his professional career.
There were three missed cuts out of the nine South Africans who entered the tournament. An unfortunate double-bogey followed by a bogey on holes 15 and 16, respectively, left Erik van Rooyen with too much ground to make up coming in, missing out by a single stroke.
Indifferent performances by Garrick Higgo and Thomas Aiken in round one left both players with too much work to do in the second round. Higgo will no doubt use the time off to recharge his batteries and come back stronger in his next tournament, while it remains to be seen when Aiken will next be in action.
© Agence France-Presse