(Reuters) - Louis Oosthuizen is already a proven major winner and he steadily moved into a good position to clinch this week’s Masters title without getting the very best out of his game in Saturday’s third round.
The gap-toothed South African, who romped to a seven-stroke victory in the 2010 British Open, fired a three-under-par 69 at Augusta National to end a gorgeous day of sunshine two shots behind leader Peter Hanson of Sweden.
”I just played nicely today,“ Oosthuizen told reporters after mixing five birdies with two bogeys. ”I made a good score, swung the club really well. It was just nice having a good round.
“I felt I probably left quite a few birdies out there the way I was hitting it. I‘m happy to be two behind going into Sunday.”
Though Oosthuizen bogeyed the final hole after pushing his approach to the right of the green and failing to get up and down, he can take comfort in the way he has played the testing back nine this week.
In each of the first two rounds, the 29-year-old covered the last nine holes in three-under 33. On Saturday, he came home in one under, having birdied the 12th and 17th.
“You have got to take it shot for shot,” Oosthuizen said of his strategy for Sunday’s final round when the year’s first major will be on the line.
”You know it’s going to take a few birdies (to win), so I’ll probably do the same as today, just pick my holes where I feel like I can take the pin on.
“It’s what we play for, ... to have a chance at winning a major going into Sunday. I put myself in a position for this week and it’ll just be fun to go out there and try to play the best I can.”
Oosthuizen, who showed good form at last week’s Houston Open where he finished third, relished the electric atmosphere at Augusta National on Saturday afternoon as players continually sank birdie putts across the course.
“It was great today,” he said. “You could hear the roars all over the place. So it was really nice to be out there and I think it’s going to be the same tomorrow.”
Editing by Peter Rutherford