In the lead in the second-round of the British Open, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen is in the position Steve Marino held last year at Turnberry. The similarities are hard to ignore.
Last year Marino was at roughly the same point of his career as Oosthuizen. He was 29 and still looking for his first PGA Tour win. Oosthuizen is 27 and has one victory, on the European Tour. Marino had never contended for a major championship, missing the cut in two of the three majors he had played. In all but one of the eight majors he has played, Oosthuizen has missed the cut. His lone major paycheck came at the 2008 PGA, where he tied for 60th place.
After firing 67 and 68 in the first two rounds last year to tie Tom Watson for the lead, Marino shot 75 and 74, fading to a tie for 38th. Is Oosthuizen (65-67 – 132) destined for the same fate?
His rock-solid swing says no. Ball-striking has been the key for Oosthuizen, who has hit 30 of 32 fairways and 31 of 36 greens. The fairway accuracy is amazing considering Oosthuizen is averaging 325 yards per drive, 25 more than the field average.
As for Fairfax, Va.-native Marino this year? Through 6 holes in the second round, he's at 1-under, perilously close to the projected cutline of even-par.