- Associated Press - Thursday, July 15, 2010

ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (AP) - With the World Cup over, Louis Oosthuizen is giving South Africa a new reason to be proud.

Oosthuizen, who has yet to make the cut at the British Open, is two strokes behind Rory McIlroy after shooting a 7-under 65 on the Old Course on Thursday. It’s his best score in seven rounds at the British Open.

“It’s still early in the tournament,” Oosthuizen said. “But it’s always nice seeing your name up there.”

One fan appreciated it, waving a yellow South Africa scarf like the ones seen during the World Cup as Oosthuizen walked off the 17th green. The World Cup, the first on the African continent, ended Sunday, with Spain beating the Netherlands 1-0 in extra time.

Oosthuizen’s score likely would have been good enough for the lead most days. But McIlroy took advantage of the easy scoring conditions in the morning with a bogey-free 9-under 63 that tied the major championship record.

Still, Oosthuizen won’t complain. He didn’t break par in the year’s first two majors, missing the cut at the Masters and the U.S. Open, and also missed the cut at the Scottish Open last weekend.

“It was really a matter of getting my confidence up,” said Oosthuizen, who got his first win on the European Tour earlier this year. “It’s just a great golf course. I love it.

Oosthuizen’s only blemish of the day was on 17, when he missed the green with his second shot and three-putted for bogey.