Albatross gets Oosthuizen flying
Louis Oosthuizen produced an electrifying start to his Masters final round - holing his approach to the 575-yard second for an albatross two.
South Africa's 2010 Open champion hit an iron from 260 yards that landed in the middle of the green and - accompanied by an almighty roar that got louder and louder - rolled to the hole and dropped in.
With that one shot Oosthuizen leapt from seven under par to 10 under and, with overnight leader Peter Hanson bogeying the first, he was two in front of both the Swede and three-time champion Phil Mickelson.
Although he had entered the record books it brought back memories of last year when compatriot Charl Schwartzel chipped in at the first and pitched in for eagle on the third to start his charge to the title.
The last player to make an albatross and win the tournament was Gene Sarazen in 1935. His two on the 15th in the second Masters was called "the shot heard round the world" and the only other albatrosses were by Bruce Devlin on the eighth in 1967 and Jeff Maggert on the 13th in 1994.
Oosthuizen did really well to scramble a par on the third after driving right and then sending his approach over the back. And it was a real bonus for him that his lead remained two when Mickelson and Hanson both failed to birdie the second.
Padraig Harrington was the European who made the best start. He birdied the second - it seemed pedestrian by comparison - and was sixth on his own at five under, five behind.
Lee Westwood, also four under overnight, also birdied the second, but it was sandwiched between two bogeys and he was down to eighth on three under with Ian Poulter, while Scot Paul Lawrie bogeyed the short fourth and slipped back to two under.
It was final-day drama that did not include world number one Luke Donald or the two pre-tournament favourites, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
Donald did at least look like keeping his position at the top of the world rankings after a 68 lifted him from seven over to three over.
McIlroy, whose third-round 77 was only three shots better than his nightmare final round last April after he led by four teeing off, turned in 38, bogeyed the 10th, double-bogeyed the 11th and dropped another on the 14th to be down in 47th place. He was six over for the day and seven over for the tournament.
Woods resumed three over, but after a birdie at the second he bogeyed the fifth, eighth and 10th. then, following a birdie at the short 12th, he was in Rae's Creek on the next and had to settle for par, then bogeyed the short 16th - the hole fellow American Bo Van Pelt aced in a spectacular 64 that was only one outside the course record.
After coming into the week with a career mark of 133 under par for par fives at this tournament, Woods played them - 16 in all over the four rounds - in only one under. That told its own story for what was shaping up to be his worst finish in the event as a professional.
With two to play Woods was tied for 41st. His previous worst since his amateur days was 22nd in 2004.
Oosthuizen's lead was back to one when he came up short of the green on the 240-yard fourth and could not get up and down this time.
Behind him Hanson's nerves were displayed again as he drove into sand on the third, failed to find the putting surface and had his second bogey. It left Mickelson alone in second.
Harrington, winner of the curtain-raising par three competition, had a six-foot chance on the fifth that would have lifted him to six under and joint fourth only three back, but he missed it.
Last year's joint runner-up, meanwhile, had the second hole-in-one of the day on the 16th, followed it with a birdie and was alongside Poulter and Westwood on four under, Westwood having holed from long range at the sixth.
Oosthuizen's hopes were given a huge boost when Mickelson ran up a six - his second triple bogey of the week - on the fourth.
His tee shot hit the grandstand on the left and headed into the undergrowth.
Going back to the tee was an option, but he tried to hack it right-handed, hardly moved it and then had to do it again. There was still a bunker between him and the flag and into the sand he went before getting up and down that did at least limit the damage.
In one hole he had gone from one behind to four back and from second to joint sixth - with Westwood, who had another birdie on the seventh.
Harrington was up to fourth when he holed from just off the sixth green, while Woods finished with a 74 and five over aggregate, his worst total as a pro on the course and almost certainly his worst finish too. Even with a closing birdie he was lying 41st.
McIlroy finally had his first birdie of the day on the 15th and was alongside Woods.