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Oosthuizen among trio of leaders at Volvo Golf Champions
Durban, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Louis Oosthuizen carded a 3-under 69 on Friday to move into a share of the lead after two rounds of the Volvo Golf Champions.
The defending champion was joined by Joost Luiten and Tommy Fleetwood, who shot matching 5-under 67s, at 7-under-par 137.
"(My confidence) is good," said Oosthuizen. "I just need to be a bit more aggressive on the greens, on the longer putts. I'm leaving them short. But the way I struck the ball today, to shoot that round, I'm confident in tomorrow to try to make a few more birdies."
Victor Dubuisson (69) sat in fourth place at Durban Country Club at 6-under, while Matteo Manassero (67) owned fifth at minus-5.
First-round leader Raphael Jacquelin (73) and Darren Clarke (71) are tied for sixth at 4-under 140.
Clarke and Dubuisson, who were playing together in the penultimate group, each used a move at the third to join overnight leader Jacquelin at 5-under.
Clarke followed a birdie at the first with another gain at the third to reach the top of the leaderboard, while Dubuisson chipped in for an eagle at the third to reach 5-under.
Jacquelin answered with a birdie at the third to reclaim sole possession of first place, but Clarke countered with a birdie at the fourth to meet Jacquelin at minus-6.
Jacquelin again moved ahead with a birdie at the fourth, but followed with a bogey at the fifth to fall back into a tie with Clarke.
Clarke then lost his piece of first place with a bogey at the sixth, and he was replaced by Oosthuizen after the South African birdied the third and sixth to reach 6-under.
Luiten leapt into a share of the lead with an incredible shot at the par-5 10th, where he ripped his second on to the green and saw it roll into the hole for an albatross.
"It was my first albatross," Luiten said. "I hit a four iron and basically went straight at it and it just pitched exactly where I wanted, just in front of the green and then hoped it would just release up the slope and that's what it did. It went straight at the pin and it went in."
He had reached the turn at 3-under after trading a pair of birdies with a bogey over his front nine.
Clarke bounced back from his gaffe with a birdie at the eighth and Chris Wood birdied three straight from the eighth to make it a five-way tie for the lead before Oosthuizen fell out of the group with a bogey at the eighth.
Oosthuizen, however, moved back to 6-under with a gain at the ninth.
After Wood was the next to lose his share of first with a bogey at the 11th, Luiten pulled ahead of the pack with a birdie at the 13th.
Jacquelin and Oosthuizen answered with matching birdies at the 10th to join Luiten at 7-under, but Jacquelin could not hang on and fell behind with a double-bogey 6 at the 11th.
Luiten was next to lose his share of the lead after he failed to get up and down for par from a bunker at the 16th, leaving Oosthuizen alone atop the leaderboard.
Fleetwood would join Oosthuizen following back-to-back birdies at the 14th and 15th before Luiten closed his round with a birdie at the last to also reach 7- under and grab the clubhouse lead.
Neither Fleetwood or Oosthuizen could move ahead of Luiten from there, as Fleetwood parred his final three holes to remain at 7-under and Oosthuizen ended his round with seven consecutive pars to keep it a three-way tie heading into the third round.
NOTES: There was only one albatross all of last season: Chris Doak at the Madeira Islands Open ... There has not been a hole-in-one in the four years of this event ... All three previous winners of this event are in the field. Joining Oosthuizen is 2011 winner Paul Casey and 2012 champ Branden Grace ... Each of the 18 groups on Friday were paired with an amateur partner. The amateurs were the finalists from the Volvo World Golf Challenge.
01/10 11:24:12 ET
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