Co-leader Louis Oosthuizen won’t take eyes off US Open scoreboard
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JOHANNESBURG - South African Louis Oosthuizen holed a 52-foot eagle putt at the last to tie the lead in the third round of the US Open at Torrey Pines on Saturday.
Oosthiuzen, was two shots behind the lead coming to the 18th hole where he found the par five putting surface in two, before rolling in the downhill curling putt to sign for a one-under 70 and join Canadian Mackenzie Hughes and American Russell Henley on five-under heading into the final round.
“I only thought it was going in when it hit the pin and went in. It looked a little speedy for me, but my caddie said it probably would have gone two or three feet past if it missed,” said Oosthuizen.
“The only thing there, is speed on that putt, and not thinking about holing it, you just want to get a two-putt down there.”
Oosthuizen began his round with a bogey on the par four first hole, before pulling a shot back at the par four fifth, but another drop followed at the par four seventh as he made the turn in one-over.
He dropped another shot at the par four 10th, which he offset at the par five 13th with a birdie there. Still, another bogey followed at the par four 14th to leave him two-over for the round.
A timely birdie at the par three 16th helped, but it would be his antics on the final hole which would help him roar back into the lead.
The 2010 Open champion was second at the PGA Championship last month to go with his four other runner-up finishes in majors - including playoff defeats at the 2012 Masters and 2015 Open.
Those playoff defeats would have hurt, but Oosthuizen said every time he has come close it has been a learning experience.
“The two that really hurt was the playoffs. That's so close to winning. I lost to a great golf shot in 2012, and in '15 I probably had an opportunity. I missed a short putt on the 17th in the playoff. Those ones take a little longer to get over.
“You know, the other ones, just good weeks and good results. Could have been better but taking more positive out of it than anything else.”
As for his chances in the final round, Oosthuizen said being a scoreboard-watcher would help his cause.
“I always glance at the scoreboard. I like to know what's going on. Whether I play good or bad, I always want to know what's going on. Not that it really changes the way I play, but sometimes coming down the last few holes, you can see if you need to be a little bit more aggressive or not.”
The next best-placed South Africans in the field were Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace on three-over in a tie for 31st. Dylan Frittelli was four-over in a share of 41st and Wilco Nienaber was 71st on 13-over in his major debut.
African News Agency (ANA)