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Course regains its bite, bluster

British Open leaderboard

1. Louis Oosthuizen 65-67 -12 F

2. M. Calcavecchia 70-67 -7 F

T3. Paul Casey 69-69 -6 F

T3. Lee Westwood 67-71 -6 F

T3. Steven Tiley* 66-NF -6 10

* — Will finish second round today

Notables

T15. Tiger Woods 67-73 -4 F

T38. Rory McIlroy 63-80 -1 F

T46. Phil Mickelson 73-71 E F

Today

End of Round 2 followed by Round 3 at St. Andrews (Old Course), 7,305 yards, par 72

TV: ESPN, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Around the loop at the far end of St. Andrews, shots at the mercy of a vicious wind were flying in every direction as Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and so many others struggled in the British Open.

Just as daunting was one thing that didn't move — the name of Louis Oosthuizen atop the leaderboard.

It stayed there over the final 11 hours Friday, when the mood of the Old Course turned foul. Oosthuizen finished his 5-under 67 just as the flags starting whipping and the grandstands creaked from gusts that topped 40 mph, forcing a round to be halted for the first time in 12 years at the British Open.

"She was naked yesterday," Tom Watson said, "but she put on her boxing gloves today and just hit us with all she had."

The next battle is catching Oosthuizen (WUHST'-hy-zen).

The South African, 27, who had made only one cut in his previous eight majors, was at 12-under 132 and had a five-shot lead, with 30 players yet to finish the second round.

"It's probably in the position anyone wants to be in, playing a major on the weekend," he said. "I'm just very happy with the two rounds I put together."

Equally surprising was the guy right behind him — Mark Calcavecchia, who turned 50 a month ago and shot 67 in the morning when there was only a light wind and short spells of rain.

Oosthuizen made seven birdies in his round of 67, finishing with a 15-foot birdie.

Far more compelling were the players trying to make par as the wind raged off St. Andrews Bay.

No one suffered like McIlroy.

One day after his record-tying 63, the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland was blown away by shots into the rough and putts that he could not control in the wind. He wound up with 80, and 11 shots out of the lead.

"I think all the guys were finding it tough this afternoon, and I just let it get away from me a little bit," McIlroy said. "I actually did well to par the last three holes, if I'm totally honest. It could have been an 82 or an 83."

Of the last 75 players who completed the round, none broke par.

Woods won the last two times at St. Andrews by a combined 13 shots. The Old Course was nothing like it was Friday afternoon, and it was rare for the world's No. 1 to feel so satisfied after 73.

"I'm eight back, and today was a day I could have easily shot myself out of the tournament, especially the start I got off to," Woods said.

Phil Mickelson (71) was at even-par 144, and play was stopped not long after he finished.

Some players fumed about the one-hour delay, noting that conditions didn't improve. Play was stopped because of gusts that caused the ball to wobble on the green, and at times on fairways.

John Daly, who opened with 66, shot 76 in Round 2 and would not stop to speak to reporters.

"We didn't get what Louis got," Woods said. "He got it 16 holes downwind. We didn't quite get that out there. That's the way it goes. If you get a good break, you have to capitalize on it. He certainly did. For everyone else, we had to grind it out, gut it out."

Course regains its bite, bluster 07/17/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 17, 2010 12:03am]

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