WGC-HSBC Champions: Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood react to third round at Mission Hills
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 03/11/12 11:49pm
Louis Oosthuizen: Frustrated with putting on Saturday
Joint leaders Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen had contrasting feelings after their third rounds at the WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills.
While Westwood came storming up the field with an 11-under round of 61, Oosthuizen had a frustrating time on the greens during his two-under round of 70 that left the pair locked together at 18-under for the tournament.
Losing a five-shot lead overnight left the South African naturally frustrated, but he still leads the event and has a chance to get back on track and lift the title on Sunday when he lines up in the final group with Westwood and Phil Mickelson.
"Early I didn't play really well and then started to find a little bit of form on the back nine, but just didn't make any putts," said Oosthuizen. "Knowing all the birdies that were out there, you look at the leaderboard, but I'm still in a good position for going into tomorrow.
"I still gave myself birdie opportunities, just normal ones and the ones I hit really close I just didn't make. So the putter went cold on me today, but I still hit good putts which is very frustrating."
Westwood is making a record 41st start at a World Golf Championship event but is still chasing a first victory after finishing as runner-up three times.
"It does surprise me I've played more than anyone else," said Westwood. "I didn't realise I was that old! I know I've played a lot but I've never won one.
"As the week's gone on, and we've played it and walked it more, I started to sort of get a feel for the golf course more and sort of see the lower scores around it.
"I played very solidly, got off to a nice start, birdied the first three holes and kept ticking over, birdieing the odd hole and finished strongly. I hit it good, hit it in the fairway, hit it close, and made a couple of 20 footers which has been missing."
Brandt Snedeker went one better than Westwood and was inches away from carding a 59 on the last green, while another big round came from India's Gaganjeet Bhullar who shot 63 to move up into a tie for eighth.
"It was a smooth 63. Trust me, it was a great round," said Bhullar. "I had 16 greens in regulation, nine birdies, nine pars. We kind of expect this kind of round when you play good. It's been a long time I've shot low 60. I came here with a lot of positivity in my game. Hit the ball really well and I made nine birdies and nine pars, probably the best I've ever done in my life.
"You know, I have shot 62 once in an Asian Tour tournament but to shoot a low number in such a big tournament, it means a lot. It will definitely help me in my future tournaments."
Bhullar did not have a practice round at the Olazabal course at Mission Hills as visa problems delayed his arrival in China, but he had no problem getting in on the act with some low numbers in the third round.
"You know, golf is a crazy game. You never know what's going to happen next. Yeah, I saw a lot of low numbers. Brandt Snedeker shot 60 - I thought mine was the best," he said.
"There is a lot of low scoring this week. A lot of golf left, and it's a WGC. Guys are good and I'm expecting a lot of good golf for Sunday afternoon."