Despite a shaky back nine, Louis Oosthuizen retained his slim lead at Royal St. George's, with a tense final day in store on Sunday.
Louis Oosthuizen Leads The Open Going Into Final Day
The 2010 Open champion overcame a rocky back nine on moving day to sit just a single shot clear of Collin Morikawa, with the South African looking for his first victory since 2018.
Oosthuizen, who broke the 36-hole Open scoring record, started the day two shots clear of the American.
Over the links layout though, it would soon be a three-way conflict for the lead, with Jordan Spieth clipping his approach shot on the 2nd to near gimme range.
After converting the birdie, the 32,000 fans present at Royal St. George’s were in for an ever changing battle that would see birdies and bogies aplenty.
Spieth, who birdied the 4th, then went on to bogey the following hole, with back-to-back birdies at the 6th and 7th putting him three-under-par for the day.
Morikawa, on the other hand, would struggle over the first five holes, with consecutive birdies at the 7th and 8th saving his front nine.
The overnight leader though looked unstoppable, birdieing the 7th and 9th in a controlled display that arguably could have been a few shots better.
But the South African’s nerves were soon starting to show, with bogies at the 11th and 13th giving the chasing pack an inkling of hope.
Only Morikawa would capitalise though, as the 24-year-old produced a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th with another birdie at the 15th.
In the Spieth camp, his usual reliable short game would let him down. Leaving his wedge shot short at the penultimate hole, he would three-putt for bogey.
This was also the case at the par-4 18th, with his two-foot par putt not even hitting the hole as he made a five and saw his early hard work go up in smoke.
With the final pair of Oosthuizen and Morikawa playing the last, both would make par, leaving the South African with a one-shot lead going into the final round of The Open.
US Open champion, Jon Rahm is lurking in the pack at seven-under-par, his two-under-par round of 68 may not have been the prettiest, but it puts the Spaniard just five shots back of the leader, Oosthuizen.