3. Stars galore within striking distance of the lead after 36 holes
Oosthuizen’s opening 36 holes were undeniably remarkable and, if he continues playing at that level, it’s hard to believe that he’s not going to be able to hoist the Claret Jug for the second time in his career. If he falters even a bit, though, he’s not remotely safe. And a bit part of that is the group that is nipping at his heels.
After firing off a 64 on Friday, young Collin Morikawa holds second place by himself. Just behind him is Jordan Spieth, who followed up an opening-round 65 with a strong 67 to sit three strokes off of Oosthuizen’s pace. One stroke behind Spieth sits Dustin Johnson and Scottie Scheffler. Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka sits at 5-under (six behind the lead), as does Jon Rahm after rebounding from Thursday woes to shoot a 64 on Friday.
While it’s unlikely that someone could come from further back than Koepka and Rahm given the lead that Oosthuizen has at this point, the caliber of player within striking distance is elite. We know someone like Rahm can fire off low, low scores on the weekend to win. We know that Koepka is a killer in majors. We know DJ is as good as anyone when he’s on. We know that Spieth is in form and can take down anyone. And we know Morikawa has major chops after he won the PGA Championship in 2020.
Seeing how these big-time players who are conceivably in range to run down Oosthuizen fare on the weekend and what kind of push they make will certainly draw the eyes of every golf fan.