Volvo Golf Champions: Fleetwood, Luiten and Oosthuizen share lead in Durban
Last Updated: 11/01/14 12:44pm
Joost Luiten hit an albatross shot in the second round of the Volvo Golf Champions to leave him in contention at the top of the leaderboard.
Holland's Joost Luiten jumped into contention at the Volvo Golf Champions after carding a spectacular eagle in his second round at Durban Country Club.
Luiten - won won twice on the European Tour last season - holed his second shot at the par-five tenth hole to surge up the leaderboard, eventually finishing the day in a tie for the lead with England's Tommy Fleetwood and home favourite Louis Oosthuizen.
France's Victor Dubuisson stands one shot back after a second successive 69 left him at six-under, while Matteo Manassero carded a 67 to move up into fifth spot at five-under.
Luiten also posted a 67 with his albatross the undoubted highlight, his approach from 248 yards pitching just short of the green and running 20 yards up the green and into the hole.
"It's my first albatross," said the 27-year-old. "I hit a good drive down the middle of the fairway, 227 metres left, hit a four-iron and basically went straight at it.
"It pitched exactly where I wanted, just front of the green and released up the slope and straight at the pin and went in. It was a good feeling.
"I didn't really do a lot over the winter. I had three weeks off and I didn't really practice. You never know how you are going to play after that but luckily the game is still all right. The funny thing is yesterday it felt terrible but I was making some good swings today, so that gives you some trust hopefully for the coming days."
Ryder Cup aim
Luiten was a key part of the Continental Europe side which won the Seve Trophy for the first time in 13 years last October - winning four points out of five - and now has his sights set on more team golf this September.
Second round leaderboard
(SA unless stated)
-7 T Fleetwood (Eng)
-7 J Luiten (Ned)
-7 L Oosthuizen
-6 V Dubuisson (Fra)
-5 M Manassero (Ita)
"I want to win again and if you do there's a Ryder Cup coming up," Luiten added. "That's the main goal."
Coincidentally, the only match Luiten lost in the Seve Trophy was against Fleetwood in the final-day singles, with the 22-year-old Englishman also in Ryder Cup contention after his victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship on the Centenary Course which will stage the biennial contest.
"It's not my motivation at the minute, although it would be a dream come true one day," said Fleetwood, who carded six birdies and one bogey as he also returned a 67. "It's the best sporting event in the world but there are a lot of guys ahead of me at the moment."
Former Open champion Oosthuizen carded four birdies and one bogey in his 69, the same score as Dubuisson although the Frenchman was rather more erratic as he produced an eagle, five birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey.
Manassero is one ahead of overnight leader Raphael Jacquelin (73) and Darren Clarke on four-under.
Clarke, who won the Open at Royal St George's in 2011 but has failed to record a single top-10 finish on the European Tour in the last two years, birdied three of his first four holes but eventually had to settle for a 71.