The Open - Day 3 Wrap Up
- Author: Julie Sanders Jul 23, 2017,
Jul 23, 2017, 16:29
"To be in after two days and be under par for this championship after the way I started, I'm ecstatic with that", McIlroy said. The Superbook is giving Kuchar the second best odds to win at 5/1, after he shot a four-under 66 on Saturday.
But come rain or shine, Spieth has been utterly unruffled throughout his first three rounds at the Open, and with a three-shot lead over Kuchar, he knows more of the same on Sunday will bring him a third major title. It will be his third time playing in the final group at a major.
Scot Richie Ramsay (70) is fifth at two under, while the resurgent Rory McIlroy (68) is "ecstatic" to be back in the red at one-under and in a four-way share of sixth.
History awaits. Spieth, who turns 24 next week, could join Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win three legs of a Grand Slam at age 23. "But that was relatively stress free considering", Spieth said. The vile vegetation of its rough, fattened up with the blankets of rain that came Friday, lacked golf balls to devour, so true were so numerous unburdened shots.
"But somehow I was able to find it halfway through the round and, again, that's what I'm going to concentrate on going into tomorrow". He has converted five of nine 36-hole leads on the PGA Tour into wins, including five of his last six.
Spieth had taken a two-shot advantage into the third round, and despite three birdies in the first eight holes, was initially unable to shake off the attentions of Ryder Cup team-mate Kuchar.
Former champion Rory McIlroy (2014) continued his comeback from an opening-round string of bogeys, chipping in on the fourth hole for one of three birdies in his opening six holes. But he missed an 8-footer on No. 16 and could not birdie the reachable 17th hole.
More than half the field broke par.
"I didn't know what was going on on 18". "They've done a couple of things today that I've not actually seen at the Opens", reported Grace, the man that cashed in the most on the day.
"I tried to just play the golf course". I feel I'm playing really well.
"I couldn't have done much better", admitted the Texan, even if he agonisingly failed to convert a putt for birdie at 18. "I had no idea that 62 was obviously the lowest ever". Grace became the first player in history to shoot 62 in a Major and is now at four under par going into the final round.
"I just don't mind grinding", Johnson said. "But this was definitely the round that got me back into the championship". Like I said, probably not. "It was a huge mental error and I lost the head a little bit there and didn't capitalise on some of the chances I gave myself coming in". The Swede has surprised himself, though, and has an outside chance of emulating what Padraig Harrington did here in 2008 by making a successful defence of the Claret Jug.
Spieth putted smoothly to pick up five birdies and did not drop a shot as fierce crosswinds buffeted the early starters at Royal Birkdale.
Johnson and Stenson were both pleased with their day's work, even though Spieth's finish has left them with eight shots to make up.