University Place - For a stunning seven-hole stretch at the U.S. Open on Sunday, South African Louis Oosthuizen was 'in the zone', feeling the thrill of major battle for the first time in three years.
The former British Open champion rebounded superbly from a messy run of three consecutive bogeys early on in the final round at Chambers Bay as he piled up six birdies over the closing run of holes, including five in a row from the 12th.
Though Oosthuizen ended up in a tie for second place at four under, just one stroke behind the winner Jordan Spieth, he was delighted to end his week on a high after launching his title bid at the year's second major with a seven-over 77.
"I'm very happy," the South African told reporters after closing with a three-under-par 67 on a firm and fast-running Chambers Bay layout. "I had a rough start. Started awfully, really.
"The first fairways, the first few holes, I couldn't get to greens. I struggled. Three over through four (holes) is not the start you want.
"I pushed myself the last few holes to be more aggressive on putts, just to see if I can get to some sort of number. To hole that wedge on 14 got me really motivated for those last four holes."
Oosthuizen, who coasted to victory by seven shots in the 2010 British Open at St Andrews, holed out with a wedge from 135 yards at the par-four 14th and went on to birdie the 15th, 16th and the par-five last.
That scorching run reminded him of his title bid at the 2012 U.S. Masters, when he spectacularly grabbed a two-shot lead with a stunning albatross two at the par-five second in the final round before being beaten by Bubba Watson in a playoff.
"You sort of forget how you play when you get in that situation of having a chance of winning a major," said the 32-year-old, who covered the back nine at Chambers Bay in six-under 29.
"The last time I felt that was in 2012 at Augusta. It was nice being in that spot again. I felt very relaxed. I felt eager to get to the next hole and try and get some birdies going. I wasn't nervous at all. I'll take a lot out of this week.
"I could have easily today shot a big number after that start. I just fought and tried to just have a good week. After my start in the first round, I'm very happy for where I am now."