European Tour

Oosthuizen closes in on leaders in Perth

Peter Uihlein (Getty)
Peter Uihlein (Getty)

Perth - Australian Brett Rumford fired a seven-under 65 to join American Peter Uihlein in the lead at the halfway stage of the Perth International at Lake Karrinyup on Friday.

Local professional Rumford reeled off eight birdies and a lone bogey to share the lead with Uihlein, who carded four-under 68 to go with his 65 in the opening round of the European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned tournament.

They lead South African Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke after the world No 21 stormed into contention with an eight-under 64.

Rumford has played in every Perth International since its inaugural staging in 2012 but he said Friday's round was his best in front of a home crowd.

"Scoring-wise, I think that was probably up there with one of the best," Rumford said.

Rumford sank five birdies on the front nine and fought back from a bogey at the par-three 12th with birdies at the 14th and 15th holes to grab a share of the lead.

Rumford's round included an up-and-down to save par from the right-hand bunker on his final hole.

Uihlein held on to the lead with back-to-back birdies at his final two holes.

"I didn't really feel like I slept much. It's one of those things, you wake up hoping in the morning it's going to be calmer, but like we knew the forecast was going to be windy this morning, I was prepared for it," he said.

Lurking just a shot behind the leading duo was the highest ranked player in the field Oosthuizen, who improved by six shots on his opening round of 70.

The highlight of Oosthuizen's round Friday was a superb downhill putt for birdie from long range on the par-three 17th.

"I just did what I did yesterday. Just same clubs, putting myself in positions, and on a few occasions I just hit it a bit closer," said Oosthuizen.

"I read the greens well and put nicely. I had lots of opportunities and just made more putts today."

Defending champion Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark never got anything going and finished with a six-over 78 to miss the 36-hole cut along with Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, whose one-under 71 gave him a four-over total for the first two days.

Leading second-round scores on Friday in the European Tour and Asian Tour co-sanctioned Perth International at the par-72 Lake Karrinyup course in Perth (Australia unless stated):

133 - Peter Uihlein (USA) 65-68, Brett Rumford 68-65

134 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 70-64

135 - Rhein Gibson 67-68

136 - Jason Scrivener 69-67

137 - Alexander Levy (FRA) 70-67

138 - Mardan Mamat (SIN) 69-69

139 - Todd Sinnott 68-71, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 68-71, David Bransdon 71-68, Adilson da Silva (BRA) 72-67, Richard Lee (CAN) 68-71, David Lipsky (USA) 72-67, Romain Wattel (FRA) 66-73, Scott Arnold 68-71, Shiv Kapur (IND) 66-73, Wang Jeun-hung (KOR) 71-68, David Drysdale (SCO) 69-70

140 - Benjamin Hebert (FRA) 70-70, Jamie McLeary (SCO) 71-69, Scott Strange 70-70, Daniel Nisbet 70-70, Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 73-67, Jens Fahrbring (SWE) 72-68

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