ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Now comes the hard part for Louis Oosthuizen.
After missing the wicked wind that took out so many players, the little-known South African started the weekend with a hefty five-stroke lead at the British Open.
The conditions were much more favorable early Saturday for 30 players who returned to the Old Course to finish up the second round. Facing only a cool breeze, British Amateur champion Jin Jeong birdied the 18th hole to complete a remarkable 2-under 70.
Of the last 105 players to tee off in the second round, only three broke par — Jeong, Alejandro Canizares (71) and Darren Clarke (70).
Everyone was chasing Oosthuizen (WUHST-hy-zen), a 27-year-old regular on the European Tour who's given South Africans another reason to beam — please, no vuvuzelas — on the heels of successfully hosting soccer's World Cup.
This is new territory for the player who's given name is Lodewicus Theodorus. This is the first time he's ever made the cut at the British Open, and only the second time in nine major tournaments that he's played on the weekend.
His lead was large but so was the pressure. And so much depends on the weather, the most bedeviling defense at the seaside course.
"It's everybody's dream to win the Open," said Oosthuizen, whose 12-under 132 put him in the final group Saturday afternoon with 50-year-old American Mark Calcavecchia, his closest challenger at 137. "But to win at St. Andrews … you never really think it will happen."
Then again, the British Open has a history of producing unlikely champions — Ben Curtis (2003) and Todd Hamilton (2004). Maybe this is Oosthuizen's week. In March, he won for the first time on the European Tour.
"Everybody around here is telling me, 'You've got the shots, you're playing well,'" Oosthuizen said. "That win earlier this season just got my mind set in a different way. I'm reading it really nice and looking forward to it from here on."
Oosthuizen opened with a 65 and caught a break Friday with an early morning tee time. He was finishing up a 67 just as the winds began to howl in this seaside town, missing out on gusts that whipped to 41 mph and actually caused a delay of about an hour because the balls were moving around on the greens.
Tiger Woods shot 73 and wasn't too upset about it, knowing that he'd done well to avoid the sort of collapse that ruined Rory McIlroy's chances.
"You just have to go out there and deal with it, whether you're on the good end of the draw or not the good end," Woods said. "You just have to go out there and play and gut it out."
The 21-year-old McIlroy, one of golf's rising stars, tied a major-tournament record with a 63 in the opening round. He followed up with an 80, the worst next-day score ever posted by the 22 players to go so low.
The delay Friday was the first at the Open since 1998 and made it impossible for all 156 players to complete 18 holes. The cut was set at 2-over 146 after the last 10 groups finished, with 77 players qualifying for the final two rounds.
Jeong's birdie allowed him to join the group at 138 that included Paul Casey and Lee Westwood and Canizares. The last player in was 50-year-old Tom Pernice Jr..
Pernice was at 1-over and hit what he thought was the perfect tee shot on the 17th, only to find it about a foot into the deep rough. He hit his second shot into the rough on the right, and his pitch toward the green tumbled off the back and onto the road.
He chipped up to 20 feet and took two putts for double bogey, putting him one over the cut.
"What was I thinking on the 18th tee? Well, I've got to give myself a chance," Pernice said. "I wanted to go left because I didn't think I could get to the green. The wind was more across."
He played it perfectly, hit wedge to three feet and made birdie. With little turnaround time, he was back out on a course and, playing in a one-man group, promptly made birdie on the first hole.
Not so fortunate was Tom Whitehouse, who birdied the 17th to get within one shot of the cut. But after handling the notorious Road Hole, he failed to birdie the 18th and missed the cut.
Also missing the cut by one shot were Justin Rose, coming off two victories on the PGA Tour, and former Open champion Mark O'Meara, who opened with a 69 but was caught in the wind and returned Saturday merely to finish up a 78.
Take Oosthuizen out of the mix, and there were 19 players separated by three shots.
That included Woods, a winner the last two times at St. Andrews. His drive on the par-4 18th late Friday came within inches of hitting the pin, and he settled for a birdie that put him at 140, still eight shots behind Oosthuizen.