Louis Oosthuizen carded a bogey-free 67 to move himself within three of co-leaders Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner at the PGA Championship, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
The PGA Championship continued its new tradition of being affected by the elements, with Oosthuizen’s back nine interrupted by a lengthy weather delay. Fortunately for the South African, his swing was not interrupted as he returned to the course keeping bogeys off his card.
Starting on the 10th hole on Friday, the 34-year-old got his day off to the perfect start with a birdie and was three under for his round after two more at 14 and 16.
Lightning and rain then caused a delay, but Oosthuizen returned and added his fourth birdie of the day on the fourth hole before closing with a string of pars.
‘You know, sometimes when you’re not playing great, it can be a great thing,’ said Oosthuizen.
‘But you know, the way I was playing, I wanted to stay out there and play. But yeah, just had to get my mind good. I missed a fairway on my first tee shot on two, but I got lucky with having a decent lie, and I gave myself a good birdie opportunity. Missed the putt, though.
‘You know, you just need to sort of try and find that momentum that you had.’
The former Open champion shares fourth with Italian Francesco Molinari and Chris Stroud – who still has six holes to complete. Jason Day is one shot better off after his 66 on Friday, with co-leaders Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner at -8 at the halfway mark.
‘It was definitely softer on your approach shots,’ said Oosthuizen of the tricky course conditions at Quail Hollow. ‘But the putts still ran out. I think it was a tough one, because you sort of felt like you had to hit the putts a little harder because you could see on your second shots it was soft, but for some reason still ran out pretty decent.
‘Yeah, it was a big change. You still had to hit the fairways because the rough was still brutal.’
Of those among the top 10, only Jason Day has Major-winning experience, which Oosthuizen knows means a lot on the weekend.
‘Yeah, three behind going into any major on the weekend is a great spot. Hopefully, I can follow it up with two solid rounds.’
Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images