Oosthuizen hoping to dig for victory

11/01/2013 16:07:00
Louis Oosthuizen   (Getty Images)
Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)

Former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen had his wishes come true in Durban - not just a 64 to lead the Volvo Golf Champions, but the bonus of a new excavator for his farm.

A 30 foot birdie putt on the final green took the 30 year old South African into a one stroke halfway lead over Scotland's Scott Jamieson - also round in 64 - and Thai golfer Thongchai Jaidee.

The digger was then presented to Oosthuizen because he had been promised it rather than a car if he was part of the winning team on the day with Jaidee and amateur Colin Ledwith, a two-handicap member at Canons Brook in Essex, England.

They were level with Darren Clarke, Thorbjørn Olesen and their partner with one to play and once on the putting surface Oosthuizen said: "I walked around to the guys and said 'Listen, we need one of these to go in'.

"I was fortunate enough to make the long one - and then Colin made one as well.

“I'm walking away with a nice gift for the farm. That's going to be a lot of fun next week playing around with it!”

For the final two rounds it is back to professionals only and Oosthuizen, Jaidee and Jamieson are way out on their own as they head into the weekend.

There is a six stroke gap to the six players in joint fourth place on five under - England's Danny Willett, Scot Paul Lawrie, Irishman Shane Lowry, Frenchman Julien Quesne, Indian Jeev Milkha Singh and Dane Thomas Björn.

Current Open Champion Ernie Els is among those one further back following a disappointing 72.

Jamieson is trying to make it a double triumph in the city, having last month achieved his first European Tour success in the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa at Royal Durban.

That qualified him for a place in the elite 33-man winners-only field at Durban Country Club even though the event had to be reduced to 36 holes because of rain.

After more downpours there was a two-hour delay before the second round today, but Jamieson must have taken it as an omen and promptly birdied five of the first eight holes.

Then came three more in a row from the 13th and he led on his own following a 12 foot putt at the 17th, only for Oosthuizen to birdie the last two and overtake him on 12 under.

"If it rains for a couple more days maybe that's a good thing for me," the 29 year old Glaswegian said.

This is his first-ever week as a member of the Official World Golf Ranking's top 100 and another victory now would put him into contention for a place in next month's 64-man WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona.

“Definitely comfortable in this environment,” he added. “In terms of the quality of the field, this is certainly deeper than what I managed to win with, but all you can do is play the golf course and definitely want to go higher after winning.” 

Jaidee, leader by three after his opening 65, added a 68.

“I hit a lot of greens today, just a couple of holes missed the putts,” he said. “In two days I’ve really enjoyed my golf here and look forward to the next two rounds.”