The Open: Oosthuizen, Spieth eye second Claret Jug

By Sports Desk July 17, 2021

Louis Oosthuizen and Jordan Spieth will each continue their bids for a second Open Championship title amid fierce pressure at Royal St George's on Saturday.

The Kent links was once again bathed in sunshine as the 149th edition of golf's oldest major returned for the third round in Sandwich.

Firmer greens and tougher pin positions made life a little harder but the course still seemed nicely set up for low scoring, with Oosthuizen's 129 the lowest overall tally at the halfway stage of an Open.

The South African slept on a two-shot lead over Collin Morikawa and the 2010 Open champion will tee off alongside the 2020 US PGA Championship winner at 15:55 local time. 

Oosthuizen has been remarkably consistent in majors since his Open triumph 11 years ago, finishing as runner-up an incredible six times.

 

Spieth, who claimed the Claret Jug in 2017 and is eight under, goes out with Oosthuizen's compatriot Dylan Frittelli in the penultimate group.

Rory McIlroy looked to be making a charge when he made the turn in 31, but three bogeys on the back nine meant he signed for a 69 and well out of the picture.

World number one Dustin Johnson will get a couple of holes in before the leader gets his third round up and running, with the American starting four shots back.

With pre-tournament favourite Jon Rahm moving to five under overall through three holes, the Spaniard is still in the mix, but reigning champion Shane Lowry's bogey at the fourth left him adrift.

Related items

  • PGA Championship: Schauffele 'captured the moment' with maiden major victory PGA Championship: Schauffele 'captured the moment' with maiden major victory

    Xander Schauffele says that he captured the moment during his PGA Championship win after handling the big moments better than he had in the past.

    Schauffele won his maiden major victory with a dramatic one-shot win at Valhalla, Kentucky on Sunday, making history as he finished 21 under, the lowest 72-hole score in men’s major history.

    He held off late challenges from Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland to secure the Wanamaker Trophy after carding a 65 on the final day.

    "It feels amazing," Schauffele told reporters after his win.

    "Winning, I said it earlier, is a result. This is awesome, it's super sweet, but when I break it down, I'm really proud of how I handled certain moments on the course today, different from the past."

    "I was pretty nervous. I don't really remember it [the birdie putt] lipping in, I just heard everyone roaring and I looked up to the sky in relief.

    "I really did not want to go into a play-off with Bryson. Going up 18 with his length, it's not something that I was going to have a whole lot of fun with.

    "I was able to capture that moment there... I just kept telling myself I need to earn this, earn this and be in the moment, and I was able to do that."

    Despite lifting the trophy, Schauffele believes that he still has work to do to reach Scottie Scheffler.

    The world number one had a turbulent week, which saw him arrested ahead of the second round on Friday, and he finished joint-eighth.

    "All of us are climbing this massive mountain and at the top of the mountain is Scottie Scheffler," Schauffele added. "I won this today, but I'm still not that close to Scottie Scheffler in the big scheme of things.

    "I got one good hook up there in the mountain up on that cliff, and I'm still climbing. I might have a beer up there on that side of the hill there and enjoy this, but it's not that hard to chase when someone is so far ahead of you."

  • PGA Championship: Schauffele makes history with first major win PGA Championship: Schauffele makes history with first major win

    Xander Schauffele secured a maiden major victory with a dramatic one-shot win to make history in the PGA Championship.

    Schauffele held off late challenges from Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland to finish on 21 under at Valhalla – the lowest 72-hole score in men’s major history.

    Hovland had briefly taken the lead after six birdies in eight holes, but Schauffele pulled it back with birdies on the 11th and 12th.

    DeChambeau then birdied the last hole to card a 64, drawing level with his fellow American and setting him up for a nervy finish.

    However, Schauffele, who led the tournament after equalling the best round at a major when he carded 62 in round one, claimed the Wanamaker Trophy with his final shot, putting a six-foot birdie.

    "I was emotional after the [winning] putt lipped in," said Schauffele. "It's been a while since I've won – I really did not want to go into a play-off with Bryson.

    "My dad is in Hawaii, and I managed to call him, but I had to hang up quickly because he was making me cry."

    Justin Rose and Shane Lowry, who brilliantly equalled Schauffele’s 62 on Saturday, finished 14 under in joint-sixth.

    Two-time major winner Collin Morikawa went into the final round as joint-leader alongside the PGA Championship winner, but a disappointing Sunday meant he finished five off the pace.

    World number one, Scottie Scheffler ended a tumultuous week in joint-eighth, meanwhile, Rory McIlroy finished outside the top 10 on 12 under.

    The Northern Irishman had been hotly tipped to end his long wait for another major title, yet he found the water with approach shots on the 13th and 15th.

    McIlroy was just ahead of Kentucky native Justin Thomas, who carded a bogey-free 68 on the final day.

    "It was wild. I've never felt so loved, I've had a lot of fun this week," Thomas told Sky Sports.

    "That was pretty special walking up 18. I obviously wish I had a chance to win, but it was just so much fun. I can't put it into words. It's special.

    "I'm glad I could do this and play in my home town."

  • PGA Championship: Morikawa and Schauffele share lead ahead of final round PGA Championship: Morikawa and Schauffele share lead ahead of final round

    Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele are joint leaders at the PGA Championship, with a host of contenders still in with a chance of triumphing going into the final round.

    Schauffele crucially recovered from a double-bogey on 15 to birdie his last two holes on Saturday. That meant he finished on 15 under, carding a second successive 68.

    Morikawa went one better with a four-under 67, so sits in a share of the lead in pursuit of his third major title, having recovered impressively from a bogey on two to produce a blemish-free round from there.

    Sahith Theegala is only one behind the leaders at Valhalla Golf Club, while Shane Lowry, Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland are only two off the lead.

    Lowry stormed into contention as he equalled the lowest round in men's major history during a sensational third round in Kentucky.

    The Irishman carded nine birdies and no bogeys to set a new career low and jump to 13 under after being eight strokes off the lead at the halfway stage.

    Lowry had the opportunity to produce the first '61 round' in a men's major history but missed the hole by mere inches on 18, settling for a record-equalling 62 instead.

    It is just the fifth time a 62 has been carded at a major, with Schauffele doing it for the second time on the first day at Valhalla.

    Robert MacIntyre and Justin Rose are also in striking distance, as they sit three shots off the pace after producing impressive rounds of 66 and 64 respectively.

    Rory McIlroy, though, is seven shots behind Morikawa and Schauffele at eight under, level with Jordan Spieth.

    And, after a tumultuous week, world number one Scottie Scheffler looks to have slipped out of contention after posting a two-over 73. He is on seven under in a tie for 24th position.

    As for Schauffele, he has had 12 top-10 finishes at majors, including two second-place and two third-place finishes. He has lead since round one and will now look to finish the job on Sunday.

    "Felt like I've had to work for a lot of my birdies the last two days," he said after round three. 

    "Haven't been able to make many putts. I feel like I'm still hitting the ball. Feel like I'm hitting the ball pretty nice. 

    "If I can just get the putter going a little bit, it should free me up."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.