South Africa’s No 1 Louis Oosthuizen had a solid day out at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a second round of 68 to move to 7 under par at the halfway mark, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
The world No 18 started Friday after an opening round 69 and would’ve been disappointed that he didn’t have a lower round on Friday after making back to back bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes.
Oosthuizen, though, will head into moving day just three strokes behind the surprise leader, Francesco Laporta, thanks to three birdies on the front nine, as well as three on the back nine.
The Italian enjoyed a sublime finish to his round with five consecutive birdies to close with an incredible 63 and 10 under par for the Rolex Series event.
Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello sit one stroke behind Laporta, after making significant climbs up the leaderboard.
Overnight co-leader, Shaun Norris, had a rather forgettable day after a disappointing 77, which saw him fall down into a share of 37th place. The South African, who campaigns on the Japan Tour, never looked comfortable and made a total of seven bogeys during his round.
He is alongside fellow countryman Erik can Rooyen and World No 1 Brooks Koepka on 3 under par.
Zander Lombard is in a very good position to make a move up the leaderboard over the weekend following his round of 71. A superb 67 on Thursday means he will go into the third round in T11 and still very much in contention for victory.
Last week’s winner at the SA Open, Branden Grace, showed some promise during his round but in the end had to settle for an even par round; he remains on 4 under.
It wasn’t all good news though with George Coetzee, Richard Sterne, Charl Schwartzel, Brandon Stone, Thomas Aiken and Dean Burmester all failing to make the cut.