While it might not all have clicked for Louis Oosthuizen on Saturday, he looked comfortable enough to be playing a casual round, not contending at the top of The Masters leaderboard, which he was.
The 2010 Open Champion played such classy golf that he kept within two strokes of leader Peter Hanson, who carded a tournament-low 65 to lead at nine-under-par.
ÂItÂs what we play for is to have a chance at winning a major going into Sunday,Â Oosthuizen said. ÂI put myself in a position for this week and itÂll just be fun to go out there and try to play the best I can.Â
OosthuizenÂs third-round 68 doesnÂt indicate that he left a few out there, but that could be a good thing as his Sunday playing partners went really low to join him atop the leaderboard.
ÂI felt like I hit it really well,Â he said, Âleft quite a few birdies out there the way I was hitting it. IÂm happy to be 2 behind going into Sunday.Â
Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson used every ounce of his experience in carding an impressive 66, which took him into sole second at eight-under.
ÂAt some point I am going to get hot on this course, but I have to be in a position where it gets me onto the leaderboard,Â he said. ÂMy finish on Thursday (two under for the last six for a 74) enabled me to do that.My putting has been so good, the best of my career probably.Â
Leader Hanson made his second loop in just 31 strokes and took the clubhouse lead at nine-under, which held up to MickelsonÂs charge.
ÂThe last four or five holes today, everything seemed to be going right; It feels like you just have to make a good swing, make a good stroke and the ball seemed to just find the hole some way. It’s just so nice to get into that zone or that peak performance, and I think I was pretty close to that today,Â said the Swede.
But for Oosthuizen it seemed to be an enjoyable day of golf Â he smiled his way around in 69, keeping his grin even when his second went wayward on 18, where he eventually dropped a shot.
In fact, his demeanour on the course gave no indication that he has missed the cut at every Masters he has played before this year, and on Sunday he could once again be making that casual walk down the 18th en route to a major victory Â this time at Augusta.
A world away from where he was last year, Charl Schwartzel made his second consecutive 75 and finished the third round at six-over and in a share of 48th.