South African Masters charge fades at Augusta National
JOHANNESBURG - SA’s charge failed to materialise at The Masters, with Charl Schwartzel the best-placed South African at 12 shots behind on one-over in tie for 29th after three rounds at Augusta on Saturday.
The 2011 Masters champion Schwartzel carded a level par 72 on day three, as Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama held the lead on 11-under.
SA-born Justin Rose of England was in a share of second four shots behind on seven-under alongside American Xander Schauffele and Australian Marc Leishman.
The 36-year-old Schwartzel began his round in perfect fashion with a birdie at the par four first, but bogeys on the par fours fifth and seventh halted his progress. A birdie at the par five eighth helped Schwartzel make the turn in level par.
Coming home, Schwartzel made six pars before a fine birdie two a the 16th, but again he would give that shot back with a bogey at the par four 17th. Though his chances of winning the tournament appear to be gone this year, a low round on Sunday could help Schwartzel radically improve his world ranking of 211th.
Louis Oosthuizen was the next best SA player on two-over overall, following a third round 72. Like Schwartzel, Oosthuizen went out in even par - with one bogey, one birdie and seven pars.
Making the turn, Oosthuizen picked up a birdie at the par four 10th but gave that shot back with a bogey five at the next. Another seven pars followed for Oosthuizen, as he too was unable to make a run up the leaderboard as he settled for a share of 38th.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout, meanwhile, signed for a two-over 74 in round three to drop back to four-over in a tie for 47th.
Bezuidenhout managed just one birdie on his opening nine, offset by three bogies coming at the fourth, fifth and seventh holes to go out in two over. A bogey at 10 and birdie four at 13 would see Bezuidenhout shoot level par for the second nine.
African News Agency (ANA)