Three Americans top the leaderboard after three rounds at the 2018 British Open and Tiger Woods isn’t one of them. but he’s charging.
The wind is expected to pick up some and if it shifts direction the scores could go a different direction than they did on Saturday. “I know what you’re trying to say and asking, but let me try and get there first”.
Schauffele, the PGA Tour rookie of the year last season, holed a 30-foot putt from behind the 18th green for a 67.
Kisner made a tough par save on the 17th and saved par again from behind the 18th green for a 68.
They were at 9-under 204.
Woods has been plagued by knee and back injuries and dealt with personal problems including a marriage breakup since winning the last of his 14 majors a decade ago. “If I can just make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow it will be interesting”.
It was there for only 20 minutes. But it was there.
The 2014 Open champion bogeyed the 16th and 18th at Carnoustie to fall back to five under par, four shots off the lead heading into the final day. After pars at 12 and 13, Woods hit a solid second shot into the par-five 14th. “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”.
With the leaders still on the course, Woods’ deficit will stretch, but he will be in contention come Sunday.
Woods played his “one bad swing” at the 18th, but lady luck intervened to keep his ball out of Barry Burn and in thick rough that at least gave him a shot. Four-time major victor Rory McIlroy is also in the hunt, as is Xander Schauffele.
A three-time victor of this tournament, Woods’ performance was one of many startling performances of the day. “That was big for me, just to not finish on two bogeys in the last three holes, [after] playing as well as I did”, he said.
Spieth would become the first player since Young Tom Morris to win consecutive Open Championships before the age of 25.
The opening hole is 396 yards on the card, with the fairway getting narrow between two bunkers.
Spieth said he had spent Saturday morning watching on the television and realising “the course was gettable”.
“Hopefully I can get some nice weather tomorrow”.
His eagle putt on the 1st had taken a while to drop, doing a full 360 before it disappeared, and that only added to the sense of drama as the round got under way with roars and cheers breaking out on various parts of the course and regularly as the players feasted in the relatively benign conditions.
MORE: Meet the Carnoustie assistant pro that played The Open. “I’ve made a lot of progress over the year that’s been kind of an off year, a building year”, said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes.
The result is a final round on Sunday that could be among the most memorable in the history of golf.
“But in the air, I knew it was on a line that was going to be on the green and most likely a par, which is all I was looking for”.
It took a chunk out of Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, the number one and two players in the world who won’t be around for the weekend.