Jordan Spieth will take a three-shot lead into the final round of The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
Spieth played his second flawless round in three days to move his lead up to three shots, with Kuchar nursing a three-shot lead of his own over third-placed Austin Connelly. Kuchar, who at this point can be considered as Spieth’s major threat, is three shots back after a four-under-par 66 and will head into the fourth round with high hopes of finally nailing his first Major title.
Photo Branden Grace at the end of Saturday’s round, in which he became the first man to shoot a 62 in a major championship. It would be his third career major and his first coming at The Open Championship.
Spieth spent Friday morning watching television coverage of the tournament, the wind blowing shots all over the course. “You either hit a club that stays short of all those bunkers, or you take a club that at least only brings the traps up at 300 into play. and I did neither. I understand that leads can be squandered quickly and I also understand how you keep on building on one”.
“It’s a little bit tougher to sleep but I’ve been fine recently”, he said after Saturday’s round.
The reigning Australian Open champion and world No.3 fashioned an eventful two-under-par 69 in the wet and wild weather to climb to six-under for the tournament.
Spieth was rarely in trouble.
However, after a strong start to his round featuring three birdies in the first five holes, Rory McIlroy slipped out of contention – a double-bogey at 10 particularly damaging as the 2014 victor went round in 69. “I’m going to need to probably shoot nine-under, I would imagine”, said Johnson. “Unfortunately it’s the first cut I’ve missed this year and I missed it with flair” – Phil Mickelson comes up with a nice description of his second round of 77, which featured four birdies, eight bogeys and a triple bogey. The chasing pack, of course, will take heart from the fact that Spieth blew a five-shot lead in the final round of last year’s Masters, but the player himself believes he can use that disappointment to ensure this golden chance doesn’t slip through his grasp as well.
“When I got up to the green I was happily shocked, and I thought, ‘This is where I normally capitalize and make a scrappy birdie, ‘” Spieth said. At just after 3.15pm, the South African had made history, nearly 45 minutes before the final group had teed-off in an annoyingly late time to satisfy the god of U.S. television.
A score of 63 for a round at one of the Majors had been achieved an incredible 31 times.
McIlroy dropped shots at the 7th and 8th before another birdie at the 9th, but there was then a calamitous double-bogey six at the 10th when he found sand off the tee and then landed in thick rough to the left of the green with his third shot. It sort of feels like we could get ourselves a situation like we had past year in which Kuchar and Spieth are playing an entirely different tournament than everybody else. When Spieth was told Grace had shot the lowest round in major-championship history, he simply said, “Wow”, and resumed his warm-up session. If not, I can sleep during the day tomorrow; we don’t tee off until pretty late. “You nearly kind of see the finish line”. “Royal Birkdale, that notoriously hard course, had just become one of the easier golf courses that we play for one round for the year”.
“To see those putts go in on 10 and 11 gives me a lot of confidence going into the weekend”. “I think I’m in a position where it can be very advantageous”, he insisted.