July 17 (UPI) -- South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen hung on over the back nine in Saturday's third round at Royal St. George's to take a one-shot lead into the final day of the 2021 British Open.
Oosthuizen bogeyed the 11th and 13th holes before making an 8-foot birdie on No. 16 and a long two-putt par on the closing hole for a 1-under 69. He held a one-stroke advantage over last year's PGA champion Collin Morikawa entering the last round in Kent, England.
The 38-year-old Oosthuizen, who has been runner-up in the last two major tournaments, is attempting to win his first major since the 2010 Open at St. Andrews. His 54-hole score of 12-under 198 is tied for the second best in British Open history, trailing only defending champion Shane Lowry in 2019.
If Oosthuizen closes out the victory, he will join Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth as the only players to lead wire-to-wire at the British Open in the last 30 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information. McIlroy was the most recent player to accomplish the feat, doing so in 2014.
Morikawa had four birdies to two bogeys for a 68 in the third round. He sits at 11-under 199 after 54 holes and two shots ahead of fellow American Jordan Spieth, who was alone in third.
Spieth was tied for the lead until he finished with bogeys on his final two holes -- missing a 2-foot par putt on No. 18 -- and settled for a third-round 69. He was at 9-under par and three shots behind Oosthuizen.
Scottie Scheffler and Corey Conners were tied for fourth at 8-under 202 entering the last day. Last month's U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm was locked in a three-way tie for sixth with Mackenzie Hughes and Dylan Frittelli at 7-under par.
Meanwhile, top-ranked Dustin Johnson started the third round just four shots off the lead but fell out of contention after five bogeys in his opening 11 holes. Two birdies late in the round gave him a 73, leaving him eight shots back of the lead.
Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka was even further back after his third-round 72. He was at 3-under 207 and nine shots behind after 54 holes.
Final round coverage of the 149th British Open Championship airs from 4 to 7 a.m. EDT Sunday on Golf Channel and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT Sunday on NBC.