But 69 was the low score among the first 22 players out in Sunday’s final round as the breeze was blowing 15-20 miles per hour.
His 66 wasn’t even the best of the day – Justin Rose shot 64, Jordan Spieth and Francesco Molinari with 65s – but it is likely what fans will talk about.
But he could get the battle with Tiger Woods he has always pictured in his head with the 14-time major victor lurking ominously among the chasing pack after a thrilling day of low scoring at a defenceless Carnoustie.
It was the Italian’s third victory in five starts.
For the first time all week the Scottish crowd gave in and began chanting his name as he walked up the 10th fairway, toward a Bridgestone golf ball that almost dropped for a hole-out eagle and would soon find its home in the bottom of the cup for the second of three consecutive birdies. “I know what you’re trying to say in asking, but let me try and get there first”.
“I think I played it out at Augusta in my head”, he said.
“I’m really happy with where I am at the moment”. Just didn’t make enough putts. I know that they know how much this championship means to me, and how much it feels good to be back playing again.
“I saw he played pretty well today”. During a down year, and a month after missing the U.S. Open cut, Spieth was seldom mentioned by the so-called experts as the pick to win this British Open. Conditions were very, very scorable today.
Spieth and Schauffele have parred their first two holes.
Bad weather and Rory McIlroy have not made easy bedfellows in the past, but the Northern Irishman was stoic under the deluge to lay down a serious marker at Carnoustie.
A bogey was followed by a second at the next when he raced his 25-foot birdie attempt past the hole and could not convert the return. “Even if I get a little bit older, I can still chase some wood or long club down there and hit the ball the same distance”.
“I love where my putter is and love my position going into the weekend”, Kisner said. The only thing they’ve seen is my struggles and the pain I was going through. I really felt like I had control of the golf ball and I made some longer putts, which was nice. I’ve had different parts. being at kind of a low point in my career.
Feeding off the electrifying atmosphere, Woods sent a laser-guided second shot to the 10th that left him a tap-in birdie, then at the 11th he rolled a 95-foot eagle putt to five feet and tapped home to gain another shot.
Spieth had started the day at three-under for the tournament, but made his intentions clear with a stunning eagle at the par-4 first hole – the rest of his round featured four birdies and not a single dropped shot for a six-under-par 65. They were last together three weeks ago when Woods presented him the trophy at the Quicken Loans National after Molinari shot 62 for an eight-shot victory. “It’s OK, a lot better than I thought walking up”, he told his caddie, Michael Greller, when he got there and Spieth not only got a good contact on it with an iron and using “a baseball swing” as he described it, his shot found the middle of the green to set up another birdie chance from 35 feet. With the new style under his golf cap, Spieth went out and shot a 65 to share the lead going into the final round of the Open.
“I didn’t want to be too far back if the guys got to 10-under-par today”, Woods said. “I had to stay within reach”, Woods continued.