Disappointment for Oosthuizen and Grace at Masters

Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa. Picture: Tannen Maury/EPA
Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa. Picture: Tannen Maury/EPA

Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace both endured disappointing rounds at the Masters on Saturday as American Patrick Reed extended his lead at the top of the leaderboard.

Reed, who started the day two ahead of Australian Marc Leishman, shot a five-under 67 on the Augusta National Golf Club course, to move to 14-under for the tournament.

Rory McIlroy is three shots behind on 11-under, with Rickie Fowler on nine-under.

Although Oosthuizen carded a one-under on Moving Day and is in 12th place on three-under, the Mossel Bay-born golfer was disappointed with his round.

“I hit it as good as I have hit it around here, but I did not make any putts, so it is disappointing. Today was definitely a scoring day with the greens being so soft that you could attack. You can see that the guys out there are making birdies, so all in all it was a disappointing day for me.”

Oosthuizen, who has the unenviable distinction of having finished runner-up in all four majors, as well as the Players Championship, which is sometimes referred to as the fifth major, found some humour when asked how he would address his putting problem.

“Try to hole them,” he said.

“Today was just horrible. I had eight three-putts in the tournament. You can’t have that if you want to play for the win. So it has been a frustrating win with my putter.”

He said his poor putting form was not down to the difficulty of the greens on the course.

“You can see the other guys are making their putts. These greens are perfect, you have got to make the putts and we are already on Saturday, I should have sorted that by Wednesday.”

Branden Grace, the only other remaining South African in the field, shot a two-over par 74 and was tied 40th on four over for the tournament.

He said that he was not sure if he would be playing on Sunday as his wife was expecting their first baby.

“If I get the phone call I am out of here. There is no tournament in the world that is as important as the birth of the first one, so if that call comes, I am on a plane. If it does not come today or tomorrow, I will try to score a good round.”

However, he said he did not want to use the anticipation of the birth as an excuse.

“It was very disappointing. Again, I played really well. The course played very differently. It was pretty soft and you could be fairly aggressive out there, but every time I gave myself a chance, I could not make it. I had too many three-putts out there.”

Looking forward to Sunday’s final round, he said that he wanted to break 70.

“I would like to finish the week off with a round in the 60s and I feel that it is in me.”

At the top of the leaderboard it seems very much like it is Reed’s to lose as the Texan will tee-off with McIlroy in Sunday’s last pairing.

The two were involved in what remains one of the most emotionally-charged matches ever, when Reed beat McIlroy by one hole at the 2016 Ryder Cup.

McIlroy, who famously took a four shot lead into the final round at the 2011 Masters and then ended up 10 shots behind South African Charl Schwartzel who won, said that the tournament was far from over. “There’s a lot more players in this golf tournament than just Patrick Reed and I.”

He did, however, say that he had a great day after shooting a seven-under 65.

“I’m closer to the lead than I was starting off the day, which is a bonus, especially when you see Patrick goes out and shoots 67 and obviously played very well.”

Schwartzel, as well as fellow South Africans Trevor Immelman and Dylan Frittelli, all missed the cut and were eliminated after the second round.


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