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Oosthuizen makes a `2’ on 2 to take Masters lead
Question of the Day
In the span of about 20 minutes Sunday, Oosthuizen posted a rare double-eagle 2 and Mickelson made an ugly triple-bogey 6 in a pair of seismic shifts atop the leaderboard during the front nine at Augusta National.
Oosthuizen holed out on No. 2 for the first albatross on that hole and only the fourth in the history of the tournament. In the blink of an eye, he went from 7 to 10-under par and surpassed Mickelson and Peter Hanson for the lead.
Only a few minutes later, Mickelson teed off into the trees well to the left of the fourth green.
Instead of taking a penalty shot and a drop, he tried to hack out right-handed. The ball barely moved the first time. On the second attempt, he shanked it into the clear, but he followed with a flop shot into the bunker. He needed a terrific up and down from the sand to save triple-bogey 6 and fell to 5-under par, four shots behind Oosthuizen, who dropped one of his shots with a bogey on No. 4.
And to think, the back nine, where this tournament is usually decided, was still an hour or so away.
Through six holes, Oosthuizen had a two-shot lead over Hanson, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar. Padraig Harrington was another stroke back and Mickelson was in a tie for sixth with Ian Poulter at 5-under par.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, got the fireworks going early.
He was standing in the fairway on No. 2, 253 yards out when he blasted a 4-iron onto the front, then watched it roll to the back of the green and into the hole. He raised both hands in the air, high-fived his caddie then jaunted down to the hole. He plucked the ball out and tossed it into the crowd. Some souvenir.
The others to make albatross at Augusta: Bruce Delvin in 1967 on No. 8 and Jeff Maggert in 1994 on No. 13. Neither, however, was as famous as the one Gene Sarazen knocked in on No. 15 in 1935. It propelled him to a playoff and en route to a playoff victory, and that shot became known as the one that put the Masters on the map.
Only a few minutes before Oosthuizen took to the course, in third place and two shots out of the lead, defending champion Charl Schwartzel, predicted good things for his fellow South African.
“I think he’s playing the best out of everyone up there,” Schwartzel said. “He’s hot right now. When he’s playing like this, he’s unstoppable.”
Oosthuizen wasn’t the only one attacking Augusta National from long range.
Bo Van Pelt and Adam Scott aced the 16th hole. Van Pelt’s 1 was part of a round of 8-under 64, tying the record for the best closing round in tournament history. Scott shot 6-under 66 and finished at 4 under.
The Van Pelt round made it clear there were good scores to be had; bad ones were available, too.
Tiger Woods struggled for the fourth straight day, shooting 2-over 74. He dropped a birdie on No. 18 and showed some mock excitement _ where’s that been all week? He finished at 5-over 293, matching his worst score here, the same one he posted his first year in the tournament _ back in 1995 when he was still an amateur.
“It was an off week at the wrong time,” Woods said.
Over four rounds, Woods played the par-5s in a cumulative 1 under. Oosthuizen, on the other hand, played the first one Sunday in 3-under par.
By Orrin G. Hatch
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