Grace extends Dunhill Links lead after second round

Associated Press

10/5/2012 2:02:27 PM

ST. ANDREWS -- Branden Grace credited a practice round with British Open winner and fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen for helping him to extend his lead to five shots on day two of the Dunhill Links Championship on Friday.

Grace teed up on the Old Course, where Oosthuizen won golf's oldest major two years ago, and birdied four holes in succession mid-round to add a 5-under-par 67 to his Kingsbarns opening-day score of 60, and move to 17 under.

Joel Sjoholm of Sweden, in his first competitive round on the Old Course, matched Grace's score of 67 to move into second on 12 under, tied with Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark (69).

Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., shot a 3-under-par 69 to move to 4 under.

Grace said his practice round with Oosthuisen on the Old Course on Wednesday proved to be a big help.

"Louis gave me some lines off the tee which was very helpful, especially with the wind off the left," he said. "The first six holes are not the easiest driving holes out there, and also having Zach (Rasego, caddie) who caddied for Louis when he won the Open, also helped.

Grace created a sensation at the start of the year on the European Tour as he won three events before May. Then he struggled, but arrived in Scotland having captured last week's Vodacom Origins of Golf Final at Fancount on the South African Sunshine Tour.

Sjoholm impressed even himself after making seven birdies on the Old Course, offset by a double bogey on the 7th.

"Now I honestly understand why everybody's talking so much about the Old Course," he said. "This has just been an amazing experience."

Olesen enjoyed the Old Course on Thursday with a bogey-free 63, but played his second round at Carnoustie and carded 69, holing six birdie putts against three bogeys.

Martin Kaymer was the best-placed of the four competing Ryder Cup players after adding a 71 at Kingsbarns to move to 3-under par.

"It has been a little difficult to get motivated," he said. "I had that fantastic experience on Sunday, and I'm still very inspired, but on the other hand your body is just a little tired, and you have to listen to your body."

Peter Hanson (70) was a stroke back but Paul Lawrie (70) was 1 over in a tie for 129th.

American Ryder Cupper Dustin Johnson (71) was 1 under and sharing 89th place.

Only the top 60 and ties survive the cut after the third round, putting them and a few other notables at risk.

Former champ Colin Montgomerie was alongside Kaymer, British Open champion Ernie Els was 1 under, and two-time champion Padraig Harrington was at par.