Ernie back on track

Ernie Els has found good form at the Open after carding a third round 67 to hold a share of second at Cordevalle Golf Club on Saturday.

Els has failed to record a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour in 2011, but a switch to a belly putter has lead to an 11-under-par tally and he lies two strokes shy of leader Briny Baird.

An eagle on the ninth would be the standout moment of Els’ round. “The ball kind of got up in the air a little bit and was spinning. It just came out perfect. I mean, a foot short I was in the water making five or six. It was a good shot and good result. 5-wood,” he said.

Els added birdies at the fourth, fifth and seventh, carded a lone drop on the eighth and closed his front nine with an eagle to make the turn at four-under-par.

He played to a quieter back nine, carding a lone birdie on the par-three 16th before signing for his 67. “I played quite well on the back. The scoring holes, I didn’t play well. I see a lot of guys shot 30, 31, 32 on the back nine. My 36 is not that good,” said Els.

He was optimistic ahead of the final day and said “I’m really happy. I’m playing well, swinging nicely. I’ve got a chance for tomorrow.”

Seven strokes back, Trevor Immelman holds a share of 38th after shooting 70 for his third round, while Louis Oosthuizen lies near the back at one-under-par.

Els has his first shot at a 2011 victory on the PGA Tour and has shown that the Big Easy is back on track.

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