British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen missed the Alfred Dunhill Championship halfway cut on Friday as fellow South African Anthony Michael retained his two-stroke lead.
Rookie Michael carded a three-under 69 after finishing with a bogey six for a two-round total of 135 over the par-72 Leopard Creek Country Club that borders the Kruger -National Park wildlife paradise.
However, Oosthuizen, a 28-year native of Mossel Bay in the Western Cape and shock winner at St Andrews last July, could manage only a 71 for a total of 147 and failed by one stroke to qualify for the remaining two rounds after he was penalized in bizarre circumstances.
The South African, the -highest-ranked player in the field at world No. 24, had been on course to salvage his tournament after an opening round 76, but had to take a penalty on his penultimate hole of his second round.
Oosthuizen, struggling to find the form that won him the Open title at St Andrews in July, put his drive into the semi-rough right of the fairway and then placed his second 30 feet left of the flag, on the first cut of the fringe.
He then had a practice swing half-a-foot from his ball, which moved 2cm. The 28-year-old -immediately called playing partner John Bickerton over, who was unsure of the correct ruling.
Referees Mike Shea and Andy McFee were then contacted and ruled that Oosthuizen must replace his ball to the original spot. Oosthuizen then chipped 12 feet short of the flag and a tricky eight-foot, downhill bogey putt bended away from the hole.
The double-bogey six was followed by a par at his final hole, resulting in a round of 71 and an early finish to his tournament.
“It’s tough being mentally tired, it makes it very difficult. I tried my best, but it gets to you. I hate missing cuts, but all you can do is give everything you’ve got,” Oosthuizen said.
South Africans Alex Haindl, whose 66 was the lowest score of the day, while Dawie van der Walt and Englishman Robert Rock are on 137 and share second spot.