Oosthuizen-Schwartzel lead Zurich Classic heading into final round

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Louis Oosthuizen
Apr 24, 2021; Avondale, Louisiana, USA; Louis Oosthuizen plays from the fairway on the 18th hole during the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament (Photo: Stephen Lew),

In a team format event, it certainly helps to strategize.

It certainly helps when that team has enormous experience at playing together in the different formats of team golf.

That is certainly true of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

The South African duo have played together as junior golfers and in numerous Presidents Cup competitions and their symmetry and familiarity is paying off at the Zurich Classic at the TPC of Louisiana.

Oosthuizen and Schwartzel shot a nine under par 63 in the third round to grab a one shot lead heading into the final round of the PGA event at Avondale. Oosthuizen and Schwartzel are at 19 under par 197 for the first three rounds.

Oosthuizen and Schwartzel are both major champions. Oosthuizen won the 2010 U.S. Open while Schwartzel won the 2011 Masters.

The highlight for the leaders was a 57-foot birdie putt by Schwartzel on the fourth hole.

A pair of teams, including the American duo of Tony Finau and Cameron Champ, along with the Australian duo of 2017 champion Cameron Smith and Mark Leishman, are a shot back at 18 under 198.

The trickier, more difficult alternate shot format returns for Sunday’s final round where scoring will be decidedly more difficult.

Just two shots back are two potent teams, including the pairing of Americans Scottie Scheffler and Bubba Watson, along with the Norwegian team of Viktor Hovland and Kris Ventura.

Three teams are at 16 under par, including American teams Tyler Duncan and Adam Schenk and Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele. The International team of Thomas Pieters and Tom Lewis is also at 16 under par.

Defending champions Ryan Palmer and John Rahm are still in it, four shots back at 15 under par after a 65 in the third round. The same scores of 65 and 15 under were shared by LSU’s Sam Burns and two-time Zurich Classic champion Billy Horschel.

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson are six shots back at 13 under par after a disappointing 70 on Saturday.

The power pairing of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele are pretty much out of it at 10 under par.

Sunday’s final round should be in good weather conditions, which has been the case throughout the event, though the wind has been a factor for the first three days of competition.

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