Louis Oosthuizen was almost pleased he didnÂt break 60 after his stellar third round in the Deutsche Bank Championship elevated him to a three-stroke lead.
He carded a superb eight-under-par 63 to take a three-stroke lead over world number one Rory McIlroy into the final round, and his round included an astonishing tournament record seven consecutive birdies from the fourth to the 10th holes.
ÂI think it would have been really tough playing tomorrow shooting in the 50s today,Â he said. ÂSo IÂm very happy with my eight-under today.Â
Behind him, McIlroy, who led by one through halfway, shot a 67 Â and lost ground: Â’You think going out with a one-shot lead and shooting 67 that you might still be in the lead going into the last day,Â McIlroy said. ‘ÂBut Louis put on a display out there for a few holes. It was great to watch. Louis is the sort of player that can do that. HeÂs very explosive and he didnÂt really put a foot wrong. IÂm very happy that IÂm still in touching distance going into tomorrow.Â
Tiger Woods shot a 68, and finished up six shots back and needing to make his largest career comeback if heÂs to win.
When OosthuizenÂs putter gets hot like it did during his birdie streak, it complements his pure ball striking and beautiful swing, turning him into one of the great players in the world.
And while he said he would have battled to have done it all over again in te final round had he broken 60, the reality is he knows there are players who can go as low as he did: ÂI think it was a great opportunity to put myself in a big lead going into tomorrow,Â he said. ÂThat changes everything.Â
Keegan Bradley showed Oosthuizen is not the only one capable of going low: He carded an eight-under 63 too, and Woods shot a 63 in the final round of the tournament six years ago to hunt down Vijay Singh.
Behind the action at the top of the leaderboard, Ernie Els carded a level-par 71 to be in a share of 27th, while Charl Schwartzel endured a horrible four-putt from three feet on the 18th as he signed for a 79 and was in a share of 40th.