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The Open 2010: Oosthuizen maintains lead in Open

The Open Championship, St Andrews, 15-18 July
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Paul Casey and Lee Westwood

The Open - day three highlights (UK only)

By Rob Hodgetts
BBC Sport at St Andrews

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen held his nerve to retain the lead ahead of England's Paul Casey going into the final round of the 2010 Open at St Andrews.

Oosthuizen led by five shots after round three and withstood another breezy day to take a four-shot lead over Casey into Sunday's finale on the Old Course.

The 29-year-old Oosthuizen carded 69 to reach 15 under as Casey emerged as his nearest challenger with a splendid 67.

Germany's Martin Kaymer shot 68 to finish third on eight under with England's Lee Westwood (71), Sweden's Henrik Stenson (67) and Spain's Alejandro Canizares (71) eight shots back and American Dustin Johnson (69) nine behind.

Oosthuizen, who missed the cut at his previous thee Open appearances, dropped a shot at the first but picked up birdies on seven, nine, 16 and 18.

Oosthuizen looks to 'special' Sunday

"I was nervous at the start but made a few putts to calm my nerves," he told BBC Sport. "I'm playing nicely and I feel very confident out there.

"I can't wait for tomorrow. I think it's going to be something special."

Tiger Woods began the day eight strokes adrift of Oosthuizen and could not make any impression as he slid to a one-over 73 to end three under.

Woods, who is now 12 shots adrift, has never come from behind on the last day to win any of his 14 majors and barring miracles the 34-year-old will not make it three straight Open titles in a row at St Andrews.

He would need to beat the record for the biggest comeback after 54 holes in Open history - held by Paul Lawrie, who won via a play-off at Carnoustie in 1999 after leader Jean van de Velde made a hash of the final hole in regulation.

"You just don't know what the weather is going to do, hopefully I can get some momentum going early," said Woods, who has finished fourth in the first two majors of the year following five months out after a scandal in his private life.

"Ironically, now I'm driving it beautifully I'm not making any putts."

ROB HODGETTS' BLOG

None of the nine leading players has won a major title, with two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen the most decorated of the contenders at five under.

Alongside the South African is American trio Nick Watney, Sean O'Hair and Ricky Barnes. US golfers have won 11 of the last 15 majors since American John Daly won at St Andrews in 1995, while countryman Woods won over the Old Course in 2000 and 2005.

Casey and Westwood are each bidding to become the first English winner of a major since Nick Faldo won the Masters in 1996 and the first English Open champion since Faldo triumphed at Muirfield in 1992. Britain is still without an Open winner since Lawrie's triumph 11 years ago.

World number 10 Casey began the day six under but picked up five shots on the front nine, narrowly missing with an eagle putt after driving the ninth green.

Straight pars from the 10th set up his chance to improve on a best Open finish of tied seventh at Royal Birkdale in 2008.

Casey delight at third-round 67

"I've been close before and had a share of the lead going into the back nine at Augusta and not been able to pull it off," said Casey.

"I've got a lot more experience now and this is something I'm looking forward to tomorrow. There's 18 holes left and some great players just behind us but I've got to continue to focus and play good golf."

Westwood lost two shots on his front nine as he struggled with his putting but picked up three strokes coming home to keep alive his hopes of a maiden major title.

"It can be done," said Westwood. "But, having seen the way Louis and Paul Casey played today, it will be very tough."

The world number three has finished in the top three in three of the last four majors, including missing the play-off by one stroke last year. He led the Masters going into the final round but was pipped to the title by Phil Mickelson, who is two under at St Andrews.

Kaymer is bidding to become the first German to win the Open and only the country's second major winner after Bernhard Langer won the Masters in 1985 and 1993. Langer's best finish in the Open was tied second with Tom Watson behind Seve Ballesteros at St Andrews in 1984.

Stenson would become the first male Swedish major champion after the country's success in women's golf with the likes of former world number one Annika Sorenstam.

Stenson happy to stay in contention

"It would be a big bonus if I could win this tournament and be the first one out of Sweden to win it," said Stenson.

Canizares, the son of four-time Ryder Cup star Jose Maria Canizares, would also become the first Spaniard to win a major since Jose Maria Olazabal won the Masters in 1999.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, the first-round leader after a stunning 63, hit back with a 69 after Friday's 80 in strong winds.

"I felt as if I responded quite well to everything that happened," said the 21-year-old.

"I'm not going to let one round of golf get me down. I'll probably look back on the week and say, 'if I could have just made that 80 a 75 or whatever'. I'm still confident that I can go out and shoot a good one."

Spain's Sergio Garcia showed some signs of a return to form with a 70 to also finish four under alongside Ireland's Shane Lowry, Swede Robert Karlsson, South Korean amateur Jin Jeong and American JB Holmes.

Amateur Jin Jeong tees off

Shot of the day (UK only)



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see also
Open Championship R4 tee times
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
The Open day three photos
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
Dan Walker's offbeat Open review
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
Westwood hoping for bad weather
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
Open chiefs defend wind stoppage
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
Woods frustrated by missed putts
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
Rock relishing second Open chance
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
Oosthuizen leads at wind-hit Open
16 Jul 10 |  Golf
Magic McIlroy leads at St Andrews
15 Jul 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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