Oosthuizen grabs share of Byron Nelson lead in Texas

May 19, 2014 - 12:57:04 am
 Louis Oosthuizen plays an approach shot from the fairway hole during Round Three of the HP Byron Nelson Championship yesterday. 

DALLAS:  South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen fired a six-under par 64 to share the lead with American Brendon Todd after yesterday’s third round of the $6.9m  US PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Championship. 

Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, and Todd each closed with a birdie to finish 54 holes on 10-under 200.

“Every opportunity I had for birdie, I actually made,” Oosthuizen said.

One stroke off the pace were Canadian left-hander Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, and Americans James Hahn and Gary Woodland.

Irishman Padraig Harrington, Canada’s Graham DeLaet, Australian Marc Leishman and American Morgan Hoffmann were on 202, Hoffmann having double-bogeyed the 18th to fall from a share of the lead.

Oosthuizen opened with a bogey and took another at the fourth but answered with three birdies in a row starting at the par-3 fifth, with his eight-foot birdie putt there the longest such effort of the run. Oosthuizen began the back nine with a birdie, then ran off three more in a row culminating at the par-5 16th after his eagle effort stopped inches shy of the hole.

The South African then closed with a four-foot birdie putt.

Oosthuizen, who withdrew from the event a year ago because of a neck injury, fired the lowest round of the day and his lowest US PGA round since late in 2012.

Injuries have nagged Oosthuizen since, with only one round in the 60s in US events before this week.

“The last year and a half was really frustrating for me,” Oosthuizen said.

Todd has never cracked the top-five at a PGA event but could collect a record payday by claiming the $1.242m top prize today.  Todd fired a 68 and sandwiching birdies at the third and fifth around his lone bogey of the day’s proceedings. He made 12 pars in a row until his closing birdie from 4 feet to reach the final pairing.

 Hoffmann reached final hole sharing the lead but took a drop after a poor tee shot, found a greenside bunker and could not escape the sand pit on his fourth shot. AFP

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