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The 149th Open Royal St George's

Oosthuizen had that Sunday feeling


South African leads in pursuit of second Claret Jug

Louis Oosthuizen day three

Louis Oosthuizen says he had that Sunday afternoon feeling as an enthralling Moving Day at The 149th Open ended with the South African atop the leaderboard. 

He started Saturday with a two-shot lead over Collin Morikawa and ended it top by just one stroke but that only tells half the story of a rollercoaster few hours. 

Oosthuizen, Morikawa and Jordan Spieth traded blows throughout their rounds as the margins at the top fluctuated and with three holes to go, the trio were all at -11. 

A late swing saw Spieth drop two shots, while Oosthuizen put a mid-round wobble behind him with a brilliant birdie at 16 and a fascinating Championship Sunday is now in the pipeline after a Moving Day the 2010 Champion golfer felt was iconic. 

“There's lots of golf left but it was so great with all the fans there,” he explained. “It felt like it was a Sunday afternoon really when I made the putt [at 16] and I was taking the lead.  

“I had a few loose swings before that on my iron shots and sort of needed that little boost. I made a really good swing on 16 and a few good ones coming in.  

“I was 13-under at a stage. Probably a good back nine and I could have gone to 14 or 15. There were a few very tough pins out there that you can't really go for at all – you always had to make those 20-footers for birdie.  

“I made a few bad swings there in the middle of the round and put me in some awkward positions and ended up making two bogeys 

“I did have a lot of opportunities to go two or three better, but that's what this golf course can do to you. I’m happy with the lead and need to play some good golf tomorrow.” 


Oosthuizen’s record of finishing as a runner-up at majors is well-documented, having come second a record six times since becoming Champion Golfer of the Year in 2010 – including at both the PGA Championship and US Open this year. 

He is desperate to land that elusive second major and will try to take lessons from his previous near-misses into Sunday at Royal St George’s. 

“I want to go one better,” he added. “Finishing second isn't great, so I will play my heart out tomorrow and see if I can lift the Claret Jug again. 

“You're not going to do something silly with taking the impossible shot on but if there is opportunity to be more aggressive when you need to, you've got to do it if you want a win a Championship.  

“I'll be watching the leaderboard out there tomorrow afternoon and see how it goes.  

“You know that having a lead with two or three holes to go around this golf course, if you hit a poor tee shot, you're in trouble.  

“A lead is not like you can just hang tight and just hit a few shots coming in. You need to still play proper golf and place the ball really well to avoid bogeys.” 


He’ll be playing alongside Morikawa once again in the final group with Spieth certainly in contention at three shots back, while those on -8, -7 or even -6 may fancy their chances of making a charge. 

But the 38-year-old admits he will spend Saturday night dreaming of a second Claret Jug. 

“I think all of us are just human to think of lifting the trophy, and that's going to be in your mind,” Oosthuizen said. “But I think you just need to know it and how to handle it.  

“Once we get on the golf course, it's all golf. You need to believe that you can lift the trophy, as well, and if you think about it beforehand that you might win this Championship, I think that's great, and you have to believe you can do it.”