Louis Oosthuizen saw his Open lead cut one shot to the last day at the Royal St George’s but is still running for the second time Claret Jug. The South African team, which won in 2010, had the opportunity to be beaten twice after making history by using 36 holes but disappeared shortly on Saturday.
Americans Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa were trapped in the middle to make a three-way tie before Oosthuizen hit 17 and fell 12 points below par. It sets a happy last day. Morikawa is a 38-year-old world champion who competes 13th under Spieth after Spieth fell to the ground with a back-to-back bogey that eventually made him 9th under.
- American Scottie Scheffler and Canadian Corey Conner were shot four times in the top 8 by par.
Robert MacIntyre of Scotland posted an all-day, an impressive five-year under-65 game that included the end of a birdie-birdie as he reached four in less than a week. He is a supporter of Irish champion defending champion Shane Lowry and leading English teams Paul Casey and Andy Sullivan, who all live in five under the par.
Players of questionable anchor problems
Elementary schools were drafted when the wind subsided on Friday and promoters responded by setting up strong deputy positions on the third day on a Kent link track. That provided further testing – the course was again bathed in sunlight and blown away by a small breeze – and challenged the field to hold their emotions close to the vegetables.
- Second in the world Jon Rahm said “it could be the toughest positions I’ve ever seen” after shooting players under the age of 68 to exceed seven under par.
- “You can’t say on TV but they almost always sit at the top of a small hill,” added the US Open champion. “It’s a way to protect the golf course.”
After his tour Oosthuizen said: “R&A put the pins where they were in doubt. It was hard and I was happy to hold it together.”
Jittery Oosthuizen is holding on
Oosthuizen showed no signs of fitness before nine as he scored seven par and combined 7 and 9 to reach 13 under, despite a lot of noise ahead warning him of the fact that 2017 champion Spieth was just starting to make the move. At the same time the winner of the 2020 PGA Championship Morikawa of the United States was initially going the wrong way, rushing to save space from a bed in the opening hole and continue his start with a bogey after getting a second sand.
- The 24-year-old dropped to 7 under Oosthuizen, while Bogey was 5th before consecutive birdies at 7 and 8 and again at 13 and 14 he saw him hit the under- under-under-68 and finished Under-11.
- “I don’t have a lot of knowledge about golfing and it’s pretty much everything that stands out in my head from this week,” Morikawa said. “Thankfully, there are so many of them.
- “Hopefully we can just use that momentum from the first three days to the last eighteen. It’s going to be a frustrating 18, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Morikawa’s birdie on the 15th to the 14th moved him to the third lead in the 11th round after Oosthuizen started at 11 and fired another shot at 13. The South African, who is second only to a major tournament since winning at St Andrews 11 years ago, was initially looking a bit taller but ended up with 15 and a smile that indicates he is back from the tree.
A few minutes later, the point of shooting the par-three 16th parade established a platform for another birdie and Oosthuizen this time met with one chance he would take on the last day in the Sandwich area.
- “I have not changed freely,” he said. “I was all around and I was shot in the arm. I felt like I was keeping the cycle together at the end there.
- “Finishing second is not so good, so I’ll play my heart out and see if I can lift the Claret Jug again.”
Spieth is finally cold
Spieth’s putter was as warm as the afternoon sun when he dipped two birdies in his four opening holes and recovered from a five-year-old bogey with two other birdies to share for the first time in the third round.
Even when he got into trouble for the tee, the three-time winner was in his big competition, making a lot of creative shots from the edge and around the green edge as he reached three under 32 – only a start compared to Cameron Smith among those at the top of the pitch.
- Spieth, who came out of the top 50 in the world last year, is looking to finish four years waiting for the big title after last winning at Royal Birkdale in 2017.
- The American, now ranked 23rd in the world, slipped 10th to 12th under par but that was canceled on the 11th, although he also regained top spot as Oosthuizen stuttered after nine.
The pars series seems to have kept Spieth in the hunt but he insisted on the 17th and missed two feet in the last par to leave the job he will do when he finishes his major drought on Sunday. With up to 32,000 viewers allowed on site every day, thousands arrived early to follow the few big names in the morning bands, Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau.
- McIlroy of Northern Ireland sent five pre-nine birdies to 4 under but failed to retain that momentum and three bogeys following the opportunity to bring him back to the bottom.
- American DeChambeau, who clashed with his team’s producer earlier this week after criticizing his driver, is top with three overs after drawing 70.