Louis plays himself into Masters mix

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Oosthuizen shot a one-under 71 to lie four-over for the tournament in tied 16th place – seven shots behind defending champion Jordan Spieth.

The 2010 Open Champion said that conditions on the course had been really tough and that there were quite a few times where the wind really got him. “I think downwind is the one that gets you, because you try and get it up in the air and it sort of knuckles it down sometimes.

“Other times it flies forever and you’re going downwind into a firm green, it’s tough. I think the way it is now, a good score is probably 74, 75. That would have been a good score out there, so I did well. I made good putts. I didn’t leave anything out there. So, I’m happy with my round.”

Oosthuizen had said on Friday that he was looking to making a score of three or four under to play himself back into contention, but that conditions on Saturday prevented that. “My game feels good. I played well yesterday, I think I hit the lip six times yesterday. I had one coming back to me, I had one do a 90-degree lip out, so everything that could have gone wrong on the greens yesterday did. Not one went in.

“I think I didn’t have one 1-putt yesterday, which was really frustrating. So, today it was better. I felt yesterday I should have shot 1-over at worst. But I am playing good. So, hopefully, tomorrow I can get a good round in again.”

The Mossel Bay-born golfer said that the wind also made putting difficult and that there were several times where he had to adjust his putt. “I mean, there was one occasion where it’s a left edge putt and you’re hitting it right edge because of the wind.

“The worst putt is the 3 and 4-footers with a little cross wind. The greens are so slick, there’s no one easy short putt. I think most of the players marked the ball for every little putt because you need to just make sure the wind does not take you in a different direction. It is tough. There are no easy putts out there.”

Oosthuizen said he was hoping to be within five or six of the lead.

As it happened, he is within seven of Spieth after the defending champion blew a potential four-shot lead with three dropped shots on the final two holes. He played a one-over 73 to take a one-shot lead from Smylie Kaufman. Hideki Matsuyama and two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer are tied for third on one-under.

Langer, who won his first green jacket in 1985 – well before Spieth or Kaufman were even born, played a two-under 70 on the day and even dropped a shot on the final hole, otherwise, he would have gone into the final round tied second.

The 58-year-old would become the oldest-ever Major winner if he stuns the rest of the field on Sunday and needs to finish sixth or better to become the oldest player in the top six.

Rory McIlroy, who went into the day one shots behind, played a 77 to be five shots behind leader Spieth. The Irishman failed to pick up a single birdie in his round, making it the first round since 2010 at a major that he has failed to play a hole below par.

– ANA


Original source: Louis plays himself into Masters mix

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