Inspired Oosthuizen leads at the turn

4/8/2012 9:51:43 PM
Louis Oosthuizen  (Getty Images)
Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)
A moment of Masters Tournament magic at Augusta National saw South African Louis Oosthuizen turn with a two shot lead during the final round.

Oosthuizen produced the first albatross two at the long second in the history of the tournament, sinking his 253 yard four iron to a roar that raised the roof, and with nine holes to play the 2010 Open Champion was nine under par.

Three-time champion Phil Mickelson, though, gave himself a mountain to climb by taking six at the short fourth - his second triple bogey of the week.

Nobody has ever won a Green Jacket with one triple bogey on his card, but the left-hander still had a chance to do it with two.

He had gone from one behind to four back, however, after hitting the grandstand on the left with his tee shot and rebounding into the undergrowth.

Rejecting the idea of going back to the tee, he then had two right-handed hacks and then found a bunker.

Getting up and down from there at least limited the damage to three dropped shots, but after seven holes Mickelson was still searching for his first birdie of the day.

So was Oosthuizen. His only other deviation from par apart from the albatross was a bogey on the fourth, where he came up short of the green and failed to get up and down.

At nine under the 29 year old, trying to become the third South African winner in the last five years after Trevor Immelman and last April Charl Schwartzel, had overnight leader Peter Hanson and American Bubba Watson as his closest challengers.

Swede Hanson, in contention for a Major for the first time, bogeyed the first and third.

He missed the opening green and almost sent his chip into the bunker on the other side, then at the third drove into sand and failed to find the green.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington and England's Ian Poulter were still battling to reel in Oosthuizen. Both reached the turn in five under to be alongside Mickelson in fourth place, while Lee Westwood was one further back.

Poulter completed an outward 33 with a curling 30 foot putt for his third birdie, but while Harrington picked up shots on the second and sixth he also missed from nine feet at the third, six feet on the fifth and only three feet at the seventh, then bogeyed the ninth.

Oosthuizen found a greenside bunker at the tenth and his bogey put him only one in front of Hanson and Watson, with Mickelson just two back after he got down in two from the fringe of the long eighth for his first birdie.

Westwood and Poulter were far from out of it. The former birdied the 13th and 14th and Poulter, after a great up and down on the 14th, two-putted the 15th from around 80 feet.

They were both six under and, with Watson bogeying the short 12th, were in a five-way tie for third only two behind.

Westwood struck a glorious approach over the water to within eight feet of the flag. Making an eagle would make him joint leader, but he missed it and was one behind with Matt Kuchar, who had just birdied the 12th and 13th.

Eight players were separated by three strokes, including Poulter at six under and Harrington on five, and any of them could yet win.

Oosthuizen went long on the 13th, but his eagle chip struck the cup and he made the four foot return putt to go two up again.

He did well to remain nine under after rolling off the front of the 14th - a ten footer gave him his four - but the gap was halved again when playing partner Watson sank his four foot birdie putt.

It looked all over for Poulter when he three-putted the last for a 69 and five under aggregate, but on the 15th Kuchar struck his approach to three feet and making that for eagle brought him level with Oosthuizen.

Mickelson had just missed for a second successive eagle on the 13th, but birdie put him two behind with Westwood, who had missed from 15 and 18 feet at the 16th and 17th.