Oosthuizen Poised for PGA Championship Glory

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Louis Oosthuizen and Phil Mickelson share the halfway lead at the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

Louis Oosthuizen shares the halfway lead at Kiawah Island

Louis Oosthuizen says he is in great shape to attack the weekend after a fine second-round 68 at the PGA Championship earned him a share of the lead alongside Phil Mickelson at Kiawah Island.

South African Oosthuizen was on course to hold the halfway lead by a shot but was let down by his first bogey of the day on the 18th on Friday and instead had to settle for sharing top billing with veteran Mickelson, with both at -5 overall for the major.

With Mickelson unlikely to last the distance, the 11/2 available on the 2010 Open champion claiming his second major this weekend look very tempting.

Oosthuizen Upbeat

Oosthuizen was delighted with his second round, which featured birdies at the 11th and 12th on Friday, and is in confident mood for the rest of the PGA Championship.

He said: “I played nicely. My whole game is really felling good. It has been a long time working on my putting and short game and I am where I want to be.”

Mickelson’s Superb Birdie Run

Mickelson, meanwhile, produced a stunning run of five birdies in his final nine holes to sign for a 69 and ‘Lefty’ proved that even at 50 he remains a fearsome competitor.

The US star is aiming to become the oldest-ever major winner – he’s 12/1 to win this weekend – and he put his fine round down to his ability to focus better on the course of late.

He said: “I’ve been trying to elongate how long I can meditate, especially on my off days, and I’m seeing progress and being able to focus longer throughout the round and as I’ve done that my scores have been getting better.”

There remain plenty in contention at Kiawah Island with two more rounds to come with two-time winner Brooks Koepka defying his own gloomy pre-tournament predictions to sit just a shot behind the leaders on -4.

Koepka said in the build-up to the PGA Championship that he was a long way off full fitness following recent knee surgery but he made two eagles at seven and 11 to suggest he’s not far off his best form. Koepka will tempt plenty at odds of 4/1 to come out on top.

Matsuyama and Casey in the Hunt

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (15/2) is in a group of three alongside Branden Grace and Christiaan Bezuidenhout who are all in a tie for third on three under, just ahead of Englishman Paul Casey who is in a group of five on -2.

Big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau is on -1 at the halfway stage but pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy, who was hoping for a repeat of his 2012 victory at this course, is eight shots off the pace after a second-round 72 left him on three over.

*All odds correct at time of writing

A sports journalist for over 15 years, Aidan has been part of written and audio coverage on a wide-ranging number of events. Having played and coached at amateur level, he offers in-depth insight and opinion into the world of football in particular.

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