Masterful Louis in Control

Sat 14 Apr 2012

Masterful Louis in Control

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Kuala Lumpur, April 14: South African star Louis Oosthuizen edged into a one-shot lead at the weather-disrupted Maybank Malaysian Open on Saturday to earn a shot at victory seven days after his Masters Tournament heartbreak.



The 2010 British Open champion, who lost to American Bubba Watson in a play-off in the year’s opening Major, brilliantly moved to 13-under-par in the US$2.5 million championship through 10 holes of his third round when play was suspended due to a lightning storm in the evening.


Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher led the chasing pack after negotiating 12 holes of his third round in three under, followed by Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain, England’s Danny Willet and American David Lipsky, all on 10-under in the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event.



India’s Jyoti Randhawa, the Asian Tour’s number one in 2002, was the highest placed Asian in a share of sixth place, four behind the leader as he played 13 holes in three under while countryman Jeev Milkha Singh was a further shot back through 13 holes as well.



Oosthuizen travelled for nearly 30 hours from Augusta National to Kuala Lumpur where he spent “every second” reflecting on his play-off defeat in the second extra hole but showed he was well over the disappointment.



The 29-year-old first returned to the West course early this morning to fire two birdies in six holes to seize the second round lead and kept his nose ahead of the pack with another masterful display in the afternoon’s third round with birdies on the fourth, fifth, ninth and 10th holes against a bogey on six.



“I feel good now. I made good putts on nine and 10 for birdies and I have another birdie putt to come back to in the morning so it feels really good. I am playing well and just have to keep giving myself chances,” said Oosthuizen, who is chasing his fifth European Tour victory and first in Asia.


 


“You never know with the weather here so you are trying to get ahead of the guys just in case all of a sudden it becomes a 54-hole event. It’s a tough week but it was always going to be the case this week. None of that will matter if I can win tomorrow. My swing feels really good and when you are playing like this, you really want to get a win because it just boosts the confidence and it is a good time of the year to do that.”


The third round will resume at 7.45am on Sunday with the fourth and final round to commence from 8.30am with players remaining in the same groupings.



The in-form Lipsky, who won the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School in January and triumphed in the HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic last month, kept in touch with the leader following birdies on the second, fifth and seventh holes as he managed to play 11 holes before play was halted.



“The last six holes are all birdie holes so I hope to convert some there. I’m definitely excited to be up on the leaderboard. I’m looking forward to making birdies and climbing up and hopefully compete,” said Lipsky.



Randhawa sank six birdies in 13 holes but dropped three shots along with way. The Indian star, who has eight wins in Asia but none since 2009, was excited about the prospect of ending his title drought. “It’s been a while, about a year and half since I’ve been in contention in a big event. I guess nerves play a bit. But I was surprised how calm I was and how relaxed I was,” said Randhawa.



“I don’t think being four back, you kind of feel the guys will not drop many shots. For me to shoot eight or nine under is asking too much but hey it’s golf. I’m going to be trying my hardest tomorrow.”


 


He reaped the rewards of spending 45 minutes at the range after his second round on Friday, fixing an old flaw in his swing set-up. “I played better, focusing what I needed to do. I’m surprised I’m quite comfortable despite the pressure that I’m playing in. Made some good putts and missed some small ones as well but that’s okay. Felt good about my golf swing. I’m a bit edgy but other than that, I’m managing quite well.”



With his father and wife in the crowd, Singh, a two-time Asian Tour number one, stayed on the fringe of contention. He plans to go on an all-out attack on Sunday. “I’m not out of it. I’m hitting the ball well. It’ll all come down to hitting a few putts tomorrow. I’m feeling pretty good. Let’s see what comes my way,” said Singh, who has six Asian Tour wins.



“I’ll surely give it a go tomorrow. Louis is in control. He showed it last week too. In this game, anything is possible. I’ll be more aggressive tomorrow for sure.”



Leading third round scores of the Maybank Malaysian Open 2012 being played at the par 72, 6,967 Yards Kuala Lumpur GCC course:


-13: Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 66-68 through 10 holes


-12: Stephen GALLACHER (SCO) 67-68 through 11 holes


-10: Rafael CABRERA-BELLO (ESP) 67-72 through 13 holes, Danny WILLETT (ENG) 69-69 through 12 holes, David LIPSKY (USA) 70-67 through 11 holes


-9: Ricardo GONZALEZ (ARG) 68-71 through 13 holes, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 66-72 through 13 holes, Hennie OTTO (RSA) 71-64 through 10 holes


-8: Simon DYSON (ENG) 69-70 through 13 holes, Ben FOX (USA) 70-68 through 13 holes, Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 65-73 through 13 holes


-7: Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 69-73-67, Victor DUBUISSON (FRA) 72-68 through 14 holes, Charl SCHWARTZEL (RSA) 64-75 through 14 holes, Rhys DAVIES (WAL) 70-68 through 13 holes, Martin KAYMER (GER) 70-67 through 12 holes.



About Maybank


The Maybank Group is Malaysia’s regional financial services leader with an international network of over 2,200 offices in 17 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and the United States of America.


The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes commercial banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 45,000 employees serving 22 million customers worldwide.



About the Malaysian Golf Association


Founded in 1929, the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) as the sole governing body of golf in Malaysia has been entrusted to promote the game while preserving its traditions and integrity.


It’s a non-government organization that runs by volunteers who are passionate about the game with the help of a team of management staff.


The Association’s portfolios have increased over the years ranging from conducting 14 state amateur opens, national amateur open, national amateur close, Malaysian Open to processing handicaps through its National Handicap System to promoting grassroot programs and training of the athletes to represent Malaysia in the international events.


We take our responsibilities seriously in promoting the game in Malaysia while simultaneously upholding the Rules of Golf as prescribed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A).



About the Asian Tour


As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Royal Selangor (Official Trophy Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Smartphone and Tablet) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.



About The European Tour


The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour's innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future.


The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2012, will feature a minimum of 46 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday.


The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.



About GlobalOne


GlobalOne is an executive lifestyle sports marketing consultancy. We serve an expanding stable of prestigious Asia-Pacific clients through a network offices in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Indonesia. We have in the past created partnerships in golf, motor racing, sailing, tennis, rugby, skiing, athletics, basketball, cycling and skiing. Today, GlobalOne’s primary focus and area of sports rights ownership is professional golf.


GlobalOne currently stages two highly successful tournaments in Asia – the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour and the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open. Over the past six years, GlobalOne has promoted a total of 21 events, all co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, with total prize money in excess of US$20 million. GlobalOne has also staged the first World Cup of Golf in Asia, at China’s Mission Hills in 1995, and a second World Cup of Golf event in Kuala Lumpur in 1999.


For more information, log onto www.maybankmalaysianopen.com