AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
KUALA LUMPUR: Louis Oosthuizen bounced back from his US Masters heartbreak in the best possible fashion as he completed a stirring three-shot victory at the Malaysian Open today.
Oosthuizen cut a miserable figure after last week’s Augusta play-off, but he was all smiles following his win over Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher, who pushed him until the final holes at par-72 Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
The South African, who soared to prominence when he won the British Open two years ago, closed with 68 for a 17 under par total, enough for his first victory in Asia and his second of the season after January’s Africa Open. But most importantly, the win atones for his gut-wrenching Masters play-off defeat just one week ago to America’s Bubba Watson, whose mesmerising shot from trees proved the difference on the second play-off hole.
Last year’s Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was sixth, six shots back, while defending champion Matteo Manassero and former world No 1 Martin Kaymer were both in seventh spot.
Six-time European Tour winner Alvaro Quiros finished tied for 29th and New Zealand major-winner Michael Campbell had to settle for a share of 63rd as his seven-year win drought continues.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND: Five birdies in a row pushed Sweden’s Carl Pettersson to the third-round lead on Saturday at the US PGA Heritage, where Luke Donald is poised to lose the World No 1 ranking.
Pettersson also sank a seven-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to nudge ahead of American Colt Knost for the lead after 54 holes at the $5.7 million event, standing on 12-under par 201 with Knost another shot back. A host of other US challengers lurked with Zach Johnson third on 205, Boo Weekley fourth on 206 and Kevin Na, Robert Garrigus and Brendt Snedeker all on 207 and Tommy Gainey sharing eighth on 208 with England’s Brian Davis.
England’s Donald is on the verge of handing the world’s top ranking back to Rory McIlroy on Monday without a major charge up the leaderboard in the final round. Donald, who fired a par-71 on Saturday to stand on 215 in a share of 52nd place, must finish no worse than a share of eighth to stay ahead of the reigning US Open champion.