By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Five holes into his second round, Louis Oosthuizen was licking his wounds. He double bogeyed the second hole, and followed a birdie at the third with consecutive bogeys. His name was no longer on the front page of the leaderboard. It was cold and windy and nothing was going right.
But once he reached the back nine, the sun came out ... and Oosthuizen started to shine. After getting through Amen Corner unscathed, the South African posted three birdies in his final five holes to post an even-par 72 that keeps him at 4 under for the tournament heading into the weekend.
"Looked at the scores and the guys made birdies starting the first five holes, some of them were 3 under," Oosthuizen said, "and I was 3 over. So I knew I just needed to hang on."
It's a credit that Oosthuizen was able to do just that on a course in which he hasn't particularly fared well until this week. In three previous starts in the Masters, Oosthuizen had failed to make the cut, with his best round being a 1-over 73.
But the 2010 British Open winner felt good about his game coming into this week, especially after finishing third at last week's Shell Houston Open. Oosthuizen held the 54-hole lead and used that as a positive building block instead of dwelling on the lead he lost in the final round.
He used that confidence late in his round. A 9-iron off the tee at the par-3 16th left him a 4-foot birdie putt, then he used an 8-iron for his approach shot at the 17th to set up a 5-foot putt.
"I've never come into this tournament playing really well," he said. "This is probably the first one I came in feeling confident, the way i swing it and the way I'm hitting the ball. So it makes a huge difference."
And now, not only has he made the cut, he's also in good shape to claim the second major of his career.
"You know, it's a weird spot for me to be in, to be third at the moment," said Oosthuizen after glancing at the leaderboard. "I normally was busy changing tickets back home (after missing the cut)."
This year, he gets to stay a few extra days.
Dry conditions greeted the field as play resumed on Saturday at the Shell Houston Open.
Four players on the course -- Jeff Maggert, James Driscoll, Carl Pettersson and Angel Cabrera -- restarted Saturday within three shots of co-leaders Louis Oosthuizen and Brian Davis, who finished Friday at 11 under.
Updates from the second round on Saturday morning:
12:30 p.m. ET: The second round is over, with the final cut at 2 under. The third round will begin at 12:45 p.m. ET. Round 3 tee times
11:30 a.m. ET: Jeff Maggert is officially the 36-hole leader. James Driscoll got to 11 under with a birdie on the par-5 eighth, but he parred the ninth to become the third person at 11 under. Updated tee times will be posted when available; the cut remains at 2 under.
10:45 a.m. ET: Nice bounceback for Keegan Bradley, who birdied the par-4 17th to get back to 9 under, three shots back. Carl Pettersson birdied the par-5 eighth to become the fourth player in double digits at 10 under.
10:30 a.m. ET: Jeff Maggert is the likely 36-hole lead after he wrapped up his second consecutive 66 on Saturday morning. Maggert actually got to 13 under, but he bogeyed the par-3 ninth for his first bogey of the week.
10:20 a.m. ET: Keegan Bradley bogeyed the tough par-3 16th to drop back to 8 under, five shots back. He still has to play the mammoth par-4 17th and 18th.
9:45 a.m. ET: Maggert is the sole leader at 12 under, and Keegan Bradley is making a run. Bradley reeled off three straight birdies to get within three shots of the lead.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Louis Oosthuizen withdrew after nine holes Sunday, citing illness.
The 2010 British Open champion was 2 over at the start of the day but had a disastrous stretch on the back nine at PGA National, where he made three bogeys, three double bogeys and one birdie to shoot an 8-over 43.
This was just the second start of the year on the PGA TOUR for Oosthuizen, who lost in the second round of last week’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. Up next he’ll head to TPC Blue Monster at Doral for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
A trio of major champions -- Charl Schwartzel, Trevor Immelman and Louis Oosthuizen -- received honorary life membership on the Sunshine Tour at its annual awards dinner on Tuesday night in Johannesburg.
Schwartzel, the most recent of the three to win a major, also won the Commissioners Award for his contributions to South African golf in 2011. Schwartzel birdied the last four holes at Augusta National last April to follow Immelman as a Masters champion.
Immelman, who will get his PGA TOUR season under way at next week's Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, took to Twitter to express his appreciation. @TrevorImmelman Very humbled by the Honorary Lifetime Membership awarded to me by the Sunshine Tour today. :) #fb
Oosthuizen got a head start on 2012 when he successfully defended his title at last week's Africa Open. Schwartzel will try to do the same this week at the Joburg Open.
Garth Mulroy, the 33-year-old from Durban who graduated from N.C. State, picked up the Sid Brews award as the Order of Merit champ. He is a member of the PGA TOUR in 2012.
Adam Scott spins a wedge into the cup from 105 yards out on the par-5 18th to complete a furious finish at Sheshan.
Louis Oosthuizen holes this 50-foot birdie putt to get within three shots of Fredrik Jacobson at Sheshan.