| Louis Oosthuizen, in Shenzhen, on Friday |
Shenzhen: Louis Oosthuizen is in familiar territory after a record-breaking performance at the HSBC-WGC Champions Tournament put him in pole position after the first two days at Mission Hills.
The 30-year-old from Mossel Bay holds a five-shot lead over Australia’s Adam Scott and that is exactly the same advantage he had after the opening two rounds at St Andrews in 2010 on his way to winning The Open Championship.
Oosthuizen bettered the course record seven-under-par 65 he shot on Thursday with a nine-under 63 to mirror the lead he held over Mark Calcavecchia when he claimed The Open, his only major triumph to date.
Gaganjeet Bhullar added to his growing reputation with a four-under par 68 that saw him jump from overnight 46th to tied 27th on Friday.
The 24-year-old Bhullar is three-under 141 for 36 holes and a good showing over the weekend will boost his rankings further.
The other Indian star in the field, veteran Jeev Milkha Singh carded 71 to be tied for 38th place at one-under 143 in Asia’s richest event and lone World Golf Championships in the region.
Bhullar had five birdies against a lone bogey on the par-5 15th at the Olazabal course. He tied 10th in the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and PGA Tour event in Malaysia last week, went straight to the practice putting green to work on his lines on the “paspalum” greens.
Tiger Woods said fatigue was the reason he skipped the event. The main sponsor had been unhappy Woods and world No. 1 McIlroy chose to miss the WGC event despite being in the country and playing in a lucrative exhibition event.
Woods said he was looking forward to competing in the World Challenge in December, an invitational event he hosts in California, before putting his clubs away for a long rest. (Agencies)