By Seth Kerr

GolfWRX Staff Writer

Louis Oosthuizen looked lost for most of the front nine during the third round at the Shell Houston Open. Then on the eighth hole, he woke up and proceeded to make seven birdies in his next 11 holes.

Oosthuizen shot a third-round 66, which featured four birdies in a row from Nos. 12-15 to take a two shot lead into the final round over his nearest competitor, Hunter Mahan.

Mahan, who many believe has a legitimate chance to win his first major next week at Augusta, jumped into contention with a third-round 65. On Sunday, Mahan will look for his first stroke play win of the year after winning the Accenture Match Play.

For Mahan it has either been top 10 or bust in his previous appearances at the Shell. He has three top 10s in the last five years, but has missed the cut both other times.

Ernie Els continued to play well on Saturday, but unless he does something remarkable on Sunday it will not be enough to make it into the Masters on his own merit. Els has only made one bogey all week, but in what has been his problem all year, he hasn’t been able to get his putter going. Els is tied for 14th at 8-under par.

“I’m playing good,” Els said. “I’m just not getting it in the hole fast enough. I needed to get to 10 or 11-under today to have a realistic chance.”

Dr. Jekyll took control of Phil Mickelson’s putter today. Putting has been his strong suit all year but he couldn’t make anything in Round 3. He missed a number of makeable putts including a 32-inch birdie putt at the fourth hole.

Fred Couples, making his 600th career start on the PGA Tour, is tied for 37th place after shooting 1- under 71.

NBC has final round coverage from 3-6 p.m. EST.

Click here for ongoing discussion of the Shell Houston Open in the “Tour Talk” forum.


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Seth is an avid golfer playing year round in Florida.


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