The Open: Round three live notebook

Pictures, thoughts and commentary on the third round of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool


Update 18 – That’s the penultimate round of the 143rd Open Championship all wrapped up neatly inside around six hours. The tournament has all been about Rory McIlroy so far, and join us again tomorrow where the Northern Irishman will surely win his first Claret Jug.

Update 17 – I’ve just sat in Rory McIlroy’s press conference and he was very calm, very composed, very relaxed and happy to laugh and joke with the media. When asked whether he thought the decision to go out off two tees was correct, Rory simply pointed up as the downpour lashed onto the roof of the media centre. “I don’t want to play in this,” was the reply. He also said that he was happy to lead out from the front and seemed comfortable with the position he is in. That said, he leads the Open Championship by six shots heading into the final round. It’s hardly the worst position to be in! JT


Update 16 – Well done the R&A, very well done. I can’t do justice to just how heavy the rain is now but take my word that it is absolutely scything down out there. Incredible scenes as everyone sprints into the media centre to get away from the downpour. It all started about five minutes after Rory walked off 18. Impeccable timing. 

Update 15 – Body-blow to the field as McIlroy ends his superb round with an eagle at 18 and will take a six-shot lead into the final round. Surely he won’t throw this one away will he? He’ll go out with Rickie Fowler in the last group. They will be following Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson who are both a shot behind Fowler on -9.

Update 14 – Despite being quite a way back on -6, World No.1 Adam Scott hasn’t given up on this Open Championship just yet.

“If you can get it going for 18 holes, there’s a chance for that major scoring record to be broken. If you can post a number at a major, you never know. Because no matter how easy you might think it is, it’s a lot harder with the pressure of a major out there for the leaders.” JS

Update 13 – The crowds have been treated to some excellent stuff today. The weather hasn’t been half as bad as expected. Only downside is they have effectively had half a day’s play. Normally the leaders would be going out at around 3pm where as that is what time they are finishing up. Wonder if there will be any refunds due?

Update 12 – There’s a lot of excitement in the media centre as Rory eagles the 16th to go five clear on -15. I think all the press know that what ever happened from no onwards it’s going to be a great story. Rory winning, or Rory throwing away a lead in the final round of a major. But it doesn’t look like anything other than a comfortable McIlroy win at the moment. There was a steely determination about him as he punched the air after that eagle putt. There is also a slight sense that the rest of the field may be losing hope of a McIlroy meltdown. JS

Update 11 – Phil Mickelson was in good spirits after his 71 despite feeling he let a really low round get away.

We had fun. But all three of us were frustrated. We had beautiful scoring conditions. First group off and, you know, if we could have shot 7, 8, 9-under par, it probably was out there. It was as easy as I’ve seen the course play. 

“We could have made some noise. But, you know, we’re just kind of in there, just made a few birdies. Keegan had a nice round, 3-under. But it could have been a lot lower, and I let a lot of shots slide.” JS

Update 10 – We haven’t had any of the forecast storms yet, it is very warm and humid out on the course. Looks like the leaders will make it round without interruption. Some really big crowds out there with a huge number following Rory, Dustin and Francesco. But all the best action has been with Sergio and Rickie Fowler who are both playing fantastically well. It’s interesting who would be the more popular winner; Rory or Sergio? There’s a lot of youngsters out there desperate for a mere glimpse of the Northern Irishman and are cheering him round, while those of my generation seem firmly behind Garcia. JS

Update 9 – When Edoardo and Francesco Molinari were tied at -4 after the opening day, the odds of Edoardo winning were 80/1 and his brother was priced at 40/1. Eduardo is now -6, with Francesco dropping four shots today to move back to -2. I wonder if there will be a word or two from Edoardo at the dinner table tonight? I’m not sure I could resist in his position. JT

Update 8 – What a phenomenal round Darren Clarke has had today. He was level par after the second round but has moved to -5 and T10 after a quite sensational 67. We did say earlier that there are some low scores to be had out there today with the softer conditions. At the top we have an intriguing scenario developing with Rory holding his own and both Garcia and Fowler playing quite brilliant golf. JT

Update 7 – Sergio Garcia, Open champion? It does have a lovely ring to it doesn’t it? The Spaniard is on the charge around the turn today, making back-to-back birdies at 8 and 9. We were debating who would be the most popular winner this week and Sergio was right up there at the top of the list. JT

Update 6 – Yesterday we asked you to send in your best Beatles related Open puns. We had some brilliant ones, with ‘Kaymer together’ and ‘You’ve Scott to hide your Love (III) away” two of my personal favourites. Keep sending them in and we will give a prize to the best one at the end of the tournament. JT

Update 5 – The Open Championship is far from being a done deal, even though Rory is still the huge favourite. He’s not quite managed to hold onto the odds-on status he held last night, mainly because there is some quite brilliant golf being played by those behind him today. So far I quite like the conditions today, we’re seeing players make lots of birdies and therefore it is exciting. Also, it wouldn’t be quite right not to have some horrible weather at the Open, would it? JT

Update 4 – This really did make me smile. We all know about Hoylake’s bunkers and rough, but what about the thunderstorms? Not the most obvious hazard on a golf course… JT


Update 3 – There are a lot of journalists in the media centre today with some pretty strong opinions on the two-tee start we have had today. I’m really with the R&A on this one because they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Nobody wants to have to come back on Monday, and I think it’s great to see some proper leadership and decision making. The reality is that bar something extraordinary, we will see all the players get round today and ultimately that is the most important thing. JT

Update 2 – Rory McIlroy heads to the 1st tee with Dustin Johnson and Francesco Molinari. Should see some great use of the driver from this three-ball. Molinari finds the rough on the right, Johnson nails one right down the middle while Rory is safely on the fairway just to the right. Tiger Woods is also out last but sadly for the World No.7, he is off the 10th tee, 14 shots off the lead. JS

Update 1 – Woke up to absolutely hammering rain but by the time most of the field got underway we had light drizzle at best. Adam Scot was just wearing a t-shirt. Nothing to stop good scoring at the moment. However, we have got some thunder and lightening forecast for later in the day. If we don’t have any interuptions it could be a fairly early finish with out leaders going out at 11.01. Crowds are still out in force, waterproofs and brollies are order of the day. JS



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