If it’s the middle of a major, Louis Oosthuizen must be atop the leaderboard.
The South African and 2010 Open Championship winner once again torched a tame Royal St. George’s on Friday, carding a -5 to go with Thursday’s -6 for a two-stroke lead on the field. That sets up yet another weekend where Oosthuizen will play in one of the final groupings, yet another opportunity for Oosthuizen to shed the bridesmaid label that’s all but tattooed on his forehead.
Oosthuizen has now finished in the runner-up slot in six different majors, including the two most recent ones. Phil Mickelson kept him at bay at the PGA Championship in May, while Jon Rahm caught and passed him at the U.S. Open last month.
Thursday afternoon, Oosthuizen addressed the double-edged nature of coming close without winning:
“It gives me confidence going into majors knowing that I’m still competing in them and I’ve still got chances of winning,” he said. “But yeah, once the week starts, I need to get that out of my mind and just focus on every round and every shot.”
Oosthuizen, now the +250 favorite to win at BetMGM, used a combination of steady drives, precise iron play and dead-bang putting to blaze right past Collin Morikawa, who had posted an early clubhouse lead of -9 and is now +450 to win.
Elsewhere, Royal St. George’s was playing soft and tender. More than 50 players finished under par heading into the weekend. Jordan Spieth (+500 to win), looking to bring home a second Claret Jug, finished with a 67 to sit three strokes behind Oosthuizen. Rahm (+1400 to win) finished with a 64 on the afternoon, leaving him six strokes behind Oosthuizen. Also in the hunt at -7: Dylan Frittelli, who only got into the tournament as an alternate, and Scottie Scheffler, who’s never won a PGA Tour event.
Deeper on the leaderboard, drama continued between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka. After DeChambeau made waves Thursday by kneecapping his own sponsor while complaining about his driver, Koepka happily fired another passive-aggressive salvo:
The Open Championship continues all weekend, and weather is expected to be very un-Open-like … so scores should continue to drop.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at [email protected]
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