Past British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen had the best round of the three at the Augusta National Golf Club as he carded a one-under par 71 to stand four-under for the tournament. Oosthuizen, whose best placing in the Masters was in 2012 when he lost in a play-off to Bubba Watson, is tied for 12th.
“I was surprised at the pin positions and the softness of the greens. The course was not playing too difficult and it allowed for good scores. Unfortunately, I did not make the most of it. I am sure the course will play harder in the last round on Sunday,” he said.
Ernie Els, who started the round in seventh position, began strongly and was on six-under at the turn. A disastrous back nine, in which he played double bogey-bogey-bogey starting on the 15th, saw him hand in a three-over 75 score card. He is in tied 21st position on two-under.
The four-time major winner received a tremendous reception at the 18th green, as the fans gave him a standing ovation and chanted his name. “It was wonderful. It was a beautiful reception. I have a lot of friends and support from South Africa here. Pity I fell apart at the end,” a dejected looking Els said.
“It was tough after the double bogey. Obviously I tried to hit the right shot on 15, a four iron, but I pulled it and ended up in the water and then three putted for the double bogey. I kind of lost my concentration after that. I felt deflated.
“It is just one of those things. Still, my game is not far off. You just have to make the right swings at the right time. But this is the tough thing about professional sport, when you put in a lot of work, but you don’t get out what you put in.”
Els said that Spieth, who will go into the final round with a record low of 200 and a lead of four shots from Justin Rose, with Phil Mickelson a further shot behind, will take some beating. “He is so impressive. I think that says it all.”
Charl Schwartzel, who won the Masters in 2011, is tied with Els on two-under after carding a one-over round of 73. He birdied two of the first three holes to move to five-under, but then dropped two shots before playing a birdie on the ninth to be four-under for the tournament at the turn.
“I started really strongly and felt really good and thought I might get a good one in there, so I was really up for it. The two bogeys on six and seven killed my momentum. I then three putted from three feet on the tenth hole and that just stopped me in my tracks.”
He said he was not looking for excuses. “I don’t think there are very difficult flags out there now. The course is playing the easiest it has in the last four or five years. You can see that by the scoring. If you pull off the shots and are putting well, you can get the scores. I can see the scores Jordan is getting.
“But I am pretty disappointed right now, but it is still nice to be here.” – ANA
Original source: South Africans fall behind at Masters