British Open 2021: Louis Oosthuizen Leads Morikawa, Spieth Entering Final Round

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 17, 2021

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen plays out of the rough on the 13th hole during the third round of the British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George's golf course Sandwich, England, Saturday, July 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
AP Photo/Peter Morrison

After finishing second in the last two major championships, Louis Oosthuizen is 18 holes from breaking through.

Oosthuizen carded a one-under 69 in Saturday's third round of the 2021 Open Championship, giving him an overall score of 12 under and putting him one stroke ahead of Collin Morikawa at Royal St. George's Golf Club.

Jordan Spieth is three strokes behind at nine under.

After two straight brilliant rounds of 64 and 65 to begin the event, Oosthuizen came back to earth a little Saturday with a steady 69. He carded three birdies against two bogeys, getting out of a three-way tie with Morikawa and Spieth with a birdie on the par-three 16th.

Oosthuizen could become the ninth wire-to-wire winner of a major championship since the turn of the century. That said, Oosthuizen has a long history of coming up just short in majors.

Kyle Porter @KylePorterCBS

Louis Oosthuizen is ...<br><br>2 strokes from having 3 majors<br>6 strokes from having 5 majors<br>12 strokes from having 7 (!) majors

Spieth is in position to capture his first major since the 2017 Open Championship. At the time, it appeared like Spieth would ascend to the throne vacated by Tiger Woods as the face of the sport. His triumph at Royal Birkdale was his third major championship before his 24th birthday.

The following four years have been an odyssey of lost confidence and a fall from grace. Spieth went 45 months without a PGA Tour win before taking April's Valero Texas Open, a victory that helped him regain his confidence during a stellar 2021 season. Barring a complete meltdown Sunday, Spieth will finish in the top 20 for the 11th time in his last 13 tournaments; he'll have eight top-10s in that span if he sticks on the leaderboard.

Of course, Spieth has more work cut out for him than it appeared he would heading to the 17th tee. He ended his day with a pair of bogeys, including a three-putt on No. 18 that dropped him from a birdie try to a bogey. 

Morikawa, one of the most promising young faces in golf, has been brilliant in his Open Championship debut. The 24-year-old has posted three straight under-par rounds to put himself in contention to make it onto a very short list of golfers who won the Open on their first chance.

Corey Conners and Scottie Scheffler are in a tie for fourth place at eight under. Conners ascended the leaderboard Saturday with a four-under 66, tied for the second-best score of the day.

Jon Rahm, Mackenzie Hughes and Dylan Frittelli are all five shots off the lead and round out the list of potential contenders heading into Sunday.