Oosthuizen leads Gallacher by one as storms again halt Malaysian Open

Louis Oosthuizen at the Maybank Malaysian Open
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Louis Oosthuizen said he is playing more aggressively than usual in case the Maybank Malaysian Open is shortened to 54 holes.
By
PGA.com news services

Series: European Tour

A thunderstorm suspended play at the Maybank Malaysian Open for the second straight day on Saturday, with Louis Oosthuizen holding on to a one-shot lead halfway through his third round.

The Masters runner-up birdied the 10th hole to move to 13 under at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club before play was stopped. Stephen Gallacher of Scotland was a shot behind after completing 11 holes, while Pablo Larrazabal of Spain was the clubhouse leader at 7-under 209 after shooting a 67.

MALAYSIAN OPEN

The Maybank Malaysian Open kicks off a three-week Asian Swing in which the European Tour also will stop in China and South Korea.

Most of the top 30 players were still on the course when play was halted.

Rain and lightning also forced play to be called off early during Friday's second round, and Oosthuizen said he was playing aggressively to stay atop the leaderboard in case the final round has to be called off.

''I am probably going for a few more shots than usual in the third round because I am kind of playing it like it might be the last round,'' the South African said.

''You never know with the weather here, so you are trying to get ahead of the guys just in case all of a sudden it becomes a 54-hole event,'' he explained. ''I actually don't think that will be the case now, but there was a point on the sixth hole when I was still thinking there was a chance that this could be the last round.''

Oosthuizen, who lost a playoff to Bubba Watson at Augusta National after making a spectacular double eagle in his final round, found sand off the tee on the first three holes, but managed to save par on every occasion. He mixed four birdies with a bogey on the sixth to sit at 3 under for his round.

''I feel good now,'' he said. ''I made good putts on nine and 10 for birdie and I have another birdie putt to come back to at the 11th in the morning so it feels really good. I am playing well and just have to keep giving myself chances.''

Oosthuizen will be chased on the final day by the two men who dominated the fourth round of the Dubai Desert Classic in February.

Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who won in Dubai, was three shots off the lead with five holes of his second round to complete.

Gallacher, who finished second in the desert, has some problems to overcome when he returns to the course. He hooked his drive at the 12th hole wildly into the trees and did not have the chance to play a recovery shot before play was called off.

Tied with Gallacher are England's Danny Willett and American David Lipsky. Germany's Martin Kaymer is six back through 12 holes and Charl Schwartzel, the first-round leader, is 6 under through 13 holes.

Oosthuizen had to return early to complete his second round on Saturday morning after a fierce storm deluged the course on Friday. Starting his third round with little prospect of completing it on schedule, Oosthuizen picked up birdies on the par-3 fourth and par-5 fifth before he dropped his only shot on the next hole.

He had to scramble with a short up-and-down on the par-4 seventh after overhitting his pitch shot through the green. He responded by making a 12-foot birdie on the ninth to join Gallacher at the top of the leaderboard, then picked up another shot on the 10th to go clear.