Will wind help Oosthuizen fly higher in the Open?

Louis Oosthuizen will surely be hoping the wind comes up for the final round of the Open Championship after he stealthily climbed the leaderboard into a share of 10th going into Sunday.

While the 2010 champion is nine strokes off the lead of Adam Scott, who carded a two-under-par 68 on his way to a 54-hole total of 199, he knows that wind can make Royal Lytham and St Annes a much nastier course than it has been so far.

He also showed during his runaway seven-stroke victory at St Andrews two years ago that he is quite capable of being many shots better than his opposition in tough links conditions.

And while Scott has looked serene for three consecutive rounds now with scores of 64-67-68, he showed just a glimmer of an opening to his pursuers when he bogeyed 13 and found a greenside bunker on 17 which took the touch of a pickpocket to save par for him.

It’s a long shot for Oosthuizen, but he’s dragged himself back from his opening round of two-over 72, when he couldn’t buy a putt with a pair of consecutive 68s. He’ll need to go deep in the final round and hope that Scott finds the pressure as intense as it should be when trying to close out a major.

And it’s not as if Scott is the only player between Oosthuizen and an unlikely victory: There are two South Africans ahead of him in the top 10.

Ernie Els is in a share of fifth with the in-form Zach Johnson at five-under, and Thomas Aiken shares eighth with Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Also in the mix can be found Graeme McDowell at seven-under, in a share of second with Brandt Snedeker; Tiger Woods alone in fourth at six-under; the impressive 22-year-old Dane Thorbjorn Olesen alone in seventh at four-under; Bill Haas together with Aiken and Watson in eighth; and the veteran Mark Calcavecchia and Matt Kuchar in a share of 10th with Oosthuizen.

Oosthuizen found birdies easy to come by in the third round. He made five of them, but bogeys on five, eight and 10 put the brakes on his run.

Aiken also made three bogeys – all of them by the sixth – and he pulled back two shots with birdies on seven and 10.

By contrast, Els looked as if he was only inches away from completely regaining his putting touch, and should they start falling in the final round, and if the wind blows, Scott’s six-stroke edge over the Big Easy could quickly evaporate.

Further down in the field, Garth Mulroy had three bogeys in his final four holes to slip to two-over for the round and two over for the tournament. Branden Grace had five birdies, but that was somewhat spoiled by six bogeys saw him card one-over for a share of 43rd ahead of the final round.

Adilson Da Silva was also one-over in the final round and four-over through 54 holes, while Richard Sterne and Retief Goosen both made five-over 75s to slip right out of any contention.

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