Oosthuizen has slim lead for Open's final round

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So flawless for truthful long, Louis Oosthuizen started making his worst swings of the week arsenic his two-shot pb evaporated successful the British Open connected Saturday.

With an hr near successful a 3rd circular arsenic undulating arsenic the fairways astatine Royal St. George's, Oosthuizen recovered himself tied for the pb with Collin Morikawa and Jordan Spieth and facing a 10-foot par putt to debar falling behind.

"I was a spot upset there," the South African said, "but got myself rapidly together."

Oosthuizen delivered a cardinal par prevention connected the 15th and an eight-foot birdie connected the par-three 16th. He finished with a one-under 69, leaving him with a one-stroke pb and different bully changeable astatine ending his 11-year hold for a 2nd large title.

"I volition play my bosom retired tomorrow," the 2010 Open champion said, "and spot if I tin assistance the claret jug again."

Louis Oosthuizen plays his changeable from the 10th tee during the 3rd circular of the Open Championship. (Getty)

Saturday ended beauteous overmuch arsenic it had started, with Oosthuizen, Morikawa and Spieth occupying the apical 3 spots, 3 shots separating them.

Plenty happened successful between.

Especially connected the backmost 9 and — astir tellingly — connected the 18th green, wherever Spieth missed a par putt from 2 feet for his 2nd consecutive bogey to driblet 3 shots backmost again.

Barely 45 minutes earlier, helium was conscionable disconnected the greenish astatine the par-five 14th spread successful 2 and seemingly connected the brink of taking the lead.

After making lone par determination and past bogeying Nos. 17 and 18, Spieth ran disconnected for immoderate putting signifier aft a circular of 69. The R&A said helium declined each media requests.

It wasn't agelong earlier Morikawa and Oosthuizen, some one-time large winners immoderate 10 years apart, were walking onto the greenish astatine the last. Oosthuizen's agelong putt implicit a hump from the close of greenish settled adjacent to the spread for his par, past Morikawa slid a 12-foot birdie putt conscionable past the hole.

Morikawa, the PGA champion past twelvemonth and successful his archetypal links test, settled for a 68 and trimmed Oosthuizen's pb to 1 shot. He had been 4 shots down aft 10 holes and made a beardown propulsion astatine astir the clip Oosthuizen showed signs of fading.

"I don't person overmuch acquisition connected links golf, and beauteous overmuch each the highlights successful my caput are from this week," helium said. "Thankfully determination is rather a few. Hopefully we tin conscionable usage that momentum from the archetypal 3 days and conscionable bring it into the past 18."

Collin Morikawa plays his 2nd changeable connected the 18th spread during time 3 of the 149th Open. (R&A via Getty Images)

Oosthuizen, a runner-up successful the past 2 majors, was astatine 12-under 198.

The pin positions — alternatively than the upwind — proved to beryllium the top defence astatine Royal St. George's, with the upwind not getting supra 10 mph and a cloudless entity with agleam sunshine looking definite to bring different time of debased scoring.

However, pins were tucked away, sometimes adjacent slopes, portion the firmer fairways brought the heavy unsmooth and cookware bunkers into play.

"Those are immoderate of hardest pin locations collectively I've ever seen," said No. 2-ranked Jon Rahm, who changeable 68 and is successful contention, 5 shots disconnected the lead.

A fig of different large names were incapable to motorboat a challenge.

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson started 4 shots disconnected the pb but plunged retired of contention by making 5 bogeys successful his opening 11 holes. Two precocious birdies could springiness him lone a 73, leaving him 8 shots behind.

Brooks Koepka, a four-time large champion, was a changeable further backmost aft managing a circular of lone 72.

Rory McIlroy started overmuch further backmost but reached the crook astatine 4 nether for the title aft making 5 birdies. The backmost 9 was different communicative and McIlroy threw an robust to the crushed — helium called it a "little toss" — during a tally of 3 bogeys successful 5 holes connected his mode to shooting 69, his archetypal circular successful the 60s astatine Royal St. George's.

It near him connected lone one-under and with nary accidental of a 2nd claret jug.

Dustin Johnson plays his changeable from the 16th tee during time 3 of the 149th Open. (Getty)

Instead, Corey Conners (66) and Scottie Scheffler (69) moved into contention astatine 8 nether portion Rahm — looking to adhd the British Open to his U.S. Open from past period — was 7 nether alongside MacKenzie Hughes and Dylan Frittelli.

Marcel Siem, who qualified from the second-tier Challenge Tour successful Europe lone past week, rebounded from an 8 aft going out-of-bounds astatine the par-5 14th with 2 birdies successful his last 3 holes. He was successful a three-way necktie for ninth place, six disconnected the lead.

All of them are chasing Oosthuizen, who won the Open successful 2010 and has rung up a vocation Grand Slam of runner-up finishes since then. That includes the U.S. Open past month, erstwhile helium was starring with 2 holes to play until Rahm's birdie-birdie finish. He besides was runner-up successful the PGA Championship to Phil Mickelson.

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