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The Open 2022: Third Round Updates From St Andrews – Live!

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Two steps forward, one step back for DJ. After those birdies at the 2nd and 3rd his initial putt at the 4th is a wide and leads to a dropped shot. He’s now 10 under and sharing fourth.

Tommy Fleetwood sets a new clubbhouse target of nine under. His drive at the 18th finished left of the green and his first putt was 15 feet short, but he drained the birdie putt and gave it a little fist pump. He signs for a 66 and will now hope, probably forlornly, that the wind gets up and makes life difficult for those still out on the course.

Contrasting fortunes for the chasing European duo at the second. Viktor Hovland drains a long birdie putt but Rory McIlroy, who knocked his approach a lot closer, can’t follow him into the cup. The Norwegian is one behind the leader on 11 under, McIlroy two back.

An exquisite touch from Tommy Fleetwood at the 17th. He misses the green on the Road Hole to the left, but soft hands pop the ball onto the green and he holes for par. The Southport man is about to set a new clubhouse target. Currently eight under, a birdie would be nice, an eagle great at the 18th.

Back-to-back birdies for DJ. He’s two under through the 3rd and now joins Cameron Young in a share of second on 11 under for the week. Remember, he led after 36 holes at the Old Course in 2015, but carded a pair of 75s to drop out of contention.

Thanks Dave. An early test for the leader Cameron Smith. As we’ve discussed, his putting has been sensational so far this week. But he leaves his long distance birdie putt at the first short and has four feet for par. It misses! It only catches the edge and the Australian has displayed a first sign of weakness. The lead is down to one.

4.01pm BST leaderboardTime for the final pair then. Cameron Young (-11) hits first, followed by leader Cameron Smith (-13). That’s it. No more tee-shots at the 1st. Up at the green, McIlroy’s 12-footer for an opening birdie just misses left. Also a par for Hovland. At 2, a superb approach from Dustin Johnson sets up a kick-in birdie. Time for the scores on the doors and then I’ll hand over to Matt.

-13: Smith (-)

-11: Young (-)

-10: Johnson (2), McIlroy (1), Hovland (1)

-8: Fleetwood (16), Lowry (12), Cantlay (3), Gooch (3), Scheffler (2)

With the wind in their favour, players are starting to drive the par-4 7th hole now and Xander Schauffele also sets up a very makeable eagle putt. But like Spieth, his putt lacks conviction. However, the birdie takes last week’s Scottish Open winner to -7.

Tommy Fleetwood’s enjoyable stroll around St Andrews continues and he’s added birdies at 14 and 15, the latest from 15 feet, to advance to 8-under (tied seventh). Further down at 7-under, it’s a trio of opening pars for Sahith Theegala. Barclay Brown? Not such good news unfortunately. He’s bogeyed 3 and 4 to slip back to 4-under and is now tied in the race to be leading amateur alongside Italy’s Filippo Celli.

“Play well”, says Rory McIlroy to Viktor Hovland as the Ryder Cup teammates tee off on 1. Both, as you’d expect, find the fairway with long irons.

Matt is out there and brings us this:

There are six Norwegian fans in Norway flag jackets down the first awaiting Viktor Hovland. They bought the tickets, found accommodation, paid for flights … and then he lost form. “We thought he’d miss the cut and we’d still have these jackets but he was amazing yesterday.” They say he is celebrated back home as part of a new generation of sports stars excelling in untraditional Norwegian sports.

Jordan Spieth trickles his eagle putt wide at 7 but at least the birdie moves him to -6. Now it’s time for Rory! He arrives on the first tee, wearing white pants and a green t-shirt with small speckles. Scheffler, who also has a green top on, shaves the hole with his opening putt while Johnson, from closer range, also has to make to with a par at the 1st.

Jordan Spieth and South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence walk down the 7th. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/ReutersThe marquee duo of Dustin Johnson and Scottie Scheffler have just teed off at the 1st. There’s a stat that the last 10 winners of the Open at St Andrews have all had at least a top three at Augusta National. The designers of the Masters course, Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie, took ideas from St Andrews for their Georgia masterpiece. So it seems right that Johnson and Scheffler – winners of two of the last three Green Jackets – are in the thick of contention here.

Jon Rahm looks baffled as a ball appears on the 7th green as he prepares to putt out. It belongs to Jordan Spieth and the Spaniard’s surprise is that it came from an unlikely angle after skipping over a bunker. Spieth has managed five pars and just one birdie so far but will have a great chance for eagle at that 371-yard par four 7th.

Bryson DeChambeau speaks after the 67 that currently sees him sat in tied 17th, seven off the lead.

I don’t think you ever know how to play this golf course fully. Every day it’s different. It showcases a unique golf course each time the wind pops up or doesn’t pop up. It’s just different.

I don’t know how to also explain it. You can’t really ever really conquer it. You can’t ever really control it. You’ve just got to go out there and try to take what it gives you and play the spots in the greens where you can and two-putt where you have to.

What I mean by that is you’ve just got to be very strategic. You’re never going to understand this golf course fully.

An Aussie and an American leading but thanks to Thomas Pieters and Shane Lowry there are now four Europeans in tied fifth or better. The penultimate pairing of Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland tee off in just over half an hour. Just checked and the last time Hovland played alongside McIlroy he shot a 64! That was in the second round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera. Rory had outscored Hovland 69 to 71 in the first round of that event in Los Angeles.

Shane Lowry chips in twice in two holes for back-to-back eaglesScrap that. I don’t think my brain could cope with the concept of Lowry making back-to-back eagles but that’s exactly what the 2019 Open hero has just done!

He’s chipped in again for the second hole running – this one from the fairway – so has played the par 4s at 9 and 10 in just four blows and not needed to use his putter once. Massive roars from the crowd and a beaming Lowry doesn’t hesitate to whip them up further. What a move!

Shane Lowry celebrates after chipping in for eagle on the 10th. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters3.13pm BST leaderboardThomas Pieters! The Belgian curls in an eight foot right-to-lefter at the par-5 14th and that takes him to nine under and tied fifth. He’s -7 on the day. Meanwhile, Shane Lowry follows his eagle chip-in at 9 with another birdie at 10 to join Pieters. It’s all happening!

-13: Smith (-)

-11: Young (-)

-10: McIlroy (-), Hovland (-)

-9: Pieters (14), Lowry (10), D Johnson (-)

-8: Herbert (3), Scheffler (-), Hatton (-)

Thomas Pieters checks out his lie on the 14th green. Photograph: Phil Noble/ReutersSahith Theegala (-7) tees off at the 1st and blasts it not far short of the Swilcan Burn guarding the green. “The closest I’ve seen all week,” says Laura Davies in commentary. The American with Indian heritage has been a real crowd favourite this week. Matt spotted him earlier. “Theegala very popular at the back of the range. Now on it and there’s something very compelling about his golf. A sort of gangly charisma. All waggles, twists and sways. Lots of feel and touch.”

A rare bright moment for two-time PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas as he curls in a putt from off the green at 15. You get the sense that Thomas loves links golf and the whole idea of coming to these shores and taking up the challenge of something different. But the bottom line is that he’s currently tied 72nd and on Sunday evening his Open record will show no top 10s in six appearances.

As if to highlight Thomas’s shortcomings, the cameras then pick up 2019 Open winner Shane Lowry holing a chip from rough near some gorse bushes! That’s an eagle. That’s taken him into the top 10 (-3 for the day and -7 overall).

Thomas Pieters continues his climb and that rise is now 40 places following a long-range birdie conversion at 13. The Belgian is 6-under on the day and 8-under for the tournament, five back from leader Cameron Smith.

Thomas Pieters making smart progress. Photograph: Stuart Kerr/R&A/Getty ImagesMatt has just spotted the leader. “Cameron Smith wanders across the range, towards the putting green. With a little rucksack on, he looks like a competition winner.”

McIlroy is there too. “Rory hits the range just as the staff drop buckets of balls in to bigger buckets. Perfect timing. It acts as a sort of drumroll. The fans take their cue and cheer him to his spot.”

Also at 6-under is Barclay Brown and the laid-back amateur is now teeing off at the 1st. Once again, he has that snazzy wide-brimmed hat on so what’s the story behind it? Brown revealed earlier this week that he has big ears and it’s the only thing that will cover them when it gets too sunny!

Matt has just chatted to a couple of Brown’s friends, who revealed that his favourite film is Caddyshack. And here’s BBC commentator Andrew Cotter on the blog’s fondness for BB. “Peter Alliss would have loved Barclay Brown; he’d be with you.”

Ian Poulter holes from seven feet at the ninth hole to turn in 3-under 33. That impressive outward nine has taken the 2008 Open runner-up to 6-under. That’s the same tally as compatriot Tommy Fleetwood, who has given a shot back at 11, one of just two par threes at St Andrews.

Evidence from our own eyes tells us leader Cameron Smith is putting like a god. The stats from datagolf back it up but what if he starts missing? Is the rest of his game strong enough? Smith only ranks 68th for Strokes Gained: Off The Tee so perhaps it’s a matter of time before a few skewed drive get gobbled up by bunkers.

Cameron Smith has gained 13.4 strokes on the field, with 10 of those coming on the greens.

The next best putting performance is from Barclay Brown at 6.6 strokes.

— data golf (@DataGolf) July 15, 2022 Will Zalatoris looked to be heading for a missed cut yesterday when he bogeyed the 1st hole to fall back to +2. But the runner-up in the last two majors recovered brilliantly to shoot a 67 and is now -2 on today’s round and -6 overall. That’s tied 15th. A birdie at the third hole moves Spieth to -5.

A reminder of the final four groups.

3.25pm Talor Gooch, Tyrrell Hatton

3.35pm Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson

3.45pm Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland

3.55pm Cameron Young, Cameron Smith

Scheffler and Johnson looks a great one to follow if the crowds are too dense around Rory. Matt has just spotted the latter. “DJ lopes across the range and takes a spot next to Barclay Brown. Barclay unruffled. He’s shared a dressing room with James Robertson Justice after all.”

That Barclay Brown sounding like an old English actor gag is picked up by Jeremy Boyce on email. “Back to our top amateur (French – it’s a French word after all – definition) “lover/admirer” of something or other, time travelling from 40s/50s/60s British cinema to the leaderboard of the 150th Open Championships. Actually Tyrrell Hatton appeared briefly with him in a crowd scene of “Passport to Pimlico”, while Thriston Lawrence also co-starred with BB in a lab scene from “The Man in the White Suit”. Surely the powers that be could have let them play as a threesome today ? Or will that be tomorrow?”

Bryson DeChambeau of Team Crushers unravels at 16. He takes an iron off the tee but ends up signing for a double bogey. That takes golf’s biggest hitter back to -5 and punctures hopes of a really low one. He’s four under for his round with two to play.

No move yet for Jordan Spieth. A par-par start and the 2017 Royal Birkdale champion is stranded in tied 40th. There’s a feeling that 18-20 under might be needed to win this so that leaves Spieth, currently -4, requiring a miracle really.

Here’s Matt on the course talking hot air.

The wind has changed again. 18 is now downwind and off the right. Holes 2-7 are going to have a crosswind, left to right. Overall the wind is a breeze at the moment. Nothing to fear.

The scoring backs that up. The average score on the front nine so far is 2-under. Ian Poulter is 3-under after seven holes and has advanced to tied 16th (-6).

Jon Rahm almost holes his approach to the 1st for eagle and then misses the short birdie putt. That rather sums up his week. Some good, but too much loose stuff to win an Open. A bogey at 2 and at -3 he’s now outside the top 50.

Another mover to tell you about. Belgian Thomas Pieters – who racked up more points than any player on either side in the 2016 Ryder Cup – is -5 for the day after 10 and -7 overall.

Any St Andrews Open always brings Seve to mind. First, THAT picture and then enjoy these tweets from Matt.

Seve Ballesteros wins at St Andrews in 1984. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty ImagesAbsolutely terrific little exhibition of Seve photos at the @WorldGolfMuseum. How good is this one? The new layout in the museum is looking great. The great Gloria Minoprio’s trousers still there. The first trousers worn by a woman golfer.

— Matt Cooper (@MattCooperGolf) July 16, 2022 It also had my favourite photo of Seve – that time the CIA’s entire worldwide network of covert operators held their annual get together at the Open and followed the great man. At least three of these men were in Dealey Plaza.

— Matt Cooper (@MattCooperGolf) July 16, 2022 Matt adds: “Has there ever been a more photogenic golfer? Even the family album images prove that the camera loved him from a young age. The one of him on a moped is just sensational.”

1.47pm BST leaderboardTommy Fleetwood finished runner-up to Shane Lowry in the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush and the straggly-haired Englishman is on the march again. Fleetwood’s palindromic Saturday scorecard reads birdie-birdie-par-par-birdie-birdie. That flourish of red numbers has taken him into tied eighth on -7. Here’s the leaderboard.

-13: Smith (-)

-11: Young (-)

-10: McIlroy (-), Hovland (-)

-9: D Johnson (-)

-8: Scheffler (-), Hatton (-)

-7 Kisner (F), DeChambeau (14), Fleetwood (7), Gooch (-), Scott (-), Cantlay (-), Theegala (-)

Tommy Fleetwood looks on after teeing off on the 3rd. Photograph: Richard Sellers/PAWhat’s the word on the street(s)? Here’s Matt Cooper again with some scene setting. Still over two hours until ‘go time’ for the final two groups.

It’s been a little quieter in the town this week than many people have been expecting, but last night there was a real buzz about the town and that continued into Saturday morning. A notable absence though? Sightings of Open golfers out and about. It’s normally an Open constant but fear of a positive Covid test is probably keeping socialising to a minimum.

I popped into the town’s favourite bakery, Fisher & Donaldson. There are many good reasons to head there – the square sausage bap, Scotch pie and toffee doughnut are all recommended – but I mostly visit because I’m tickled by the idea that it’s a side hustle of Ross Fisher and Jamie Donaldson.

Matt Cooper is live at St Andrews and he’s caught up with two of the Guardian’s finest in the press tent. Is this to be Rory’s week?

Ewan Murray on Rory: “I think his chances are very good. This is as comfortable as I’ve seen him on and around the golf course since 2014 when he was winning majors with ease. There’s an element of randomness to links golf which means anything could happen and Cam Smith especially is going to be tough to beat, but I regard this, a bit obvious, as his best opportunity to win a major championship since 2014.”

Ewan Murray on Cam Smith: “Smith is interesting because he had a tendency to throw in double bogeys in otherwise very good rounds and round here that is very possible especially if you encounter a bunker. But he has shown no sign of that through 36 holes. So, I am waiting for the big ricket to arrive, but there’s been no sign of it so far. Can it stay that way? My feeling is that if Rory McIlroy beats Cam Smith he’ll win the Open. He’s the biggest danger to Rory’s chances.”

Andy Bull on Rory: “The thing with Rory is you’re always waiting for him to have one of those wobbles along the way. I’ve been covering him at the majors for a decade now and I’ve been writing the same story, about him playing so much good golf and then having that wobble. But he seems so in control of himself this week. How he’s carrying himself, how he’s talking, how he’s playing – it’s the most impressive he’s been at a major. I’m pretty positive and I hope he does it because the atmosphere here would be amazing.”

Do not adjust your screens. This is a real tweet. Good start for the Crushers today thanks to DeChambeau. Just hope it doesn’t get nasty out there. There’s a long and deep history between Aces and Majesticks fans that goes back days. We don’t want to see those bitter rivals scrapping by the Old Course Hotel.

That birdie blitz has taken Kisner up to tied eighth, a leap of 58 places. But he wasn’t the only golfer making hay this morning. Playing partner Trey Mullinax, who won last week’s Barbasol Championship in Kentucky before jetting to Scotlandshire, fired a 66 – as did 2018 Open champion Francesco Molinari. Those six under rounds have lifted the duo to tied 13th. Bigh-hitting South African Dean Burmester tossed in a 67 while Bryson DeChambeau is also on the move. The 2020 US Open champion has signed for an eagle and four birdies in his first 13 holes to join Kisner in tied eighth on 7-under. Tied eighth sounds quite impressive but bear in mind the leaders are bound to pour in a bunch of birdies too with the weather forecast for the rest of today suggesting nothing more than a light breeze.

To Kevin Kisner then. As noted in the preamble, he went wild this morning, making birdies at 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8. He had a putt at 9 for an outward 29 which just missed. No matter, a birdie at 10 took him to 7-under for the round and there whispers of course records and even a 59. Rory McIlroy’s opening 63 in 2010 is the best 18-hole score in an Open at St Andrews while Ross Fisher once shot a 61 on the Old Course in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. However, that DP World Tour event is a pro-am, with flags placed in the middle of greens to avoid putting too much pressure on Hugh Grant’s approach play. In the end Kisner had to settle for a 65, still a fantastic effort but not a record-breaking one. Huh, it’s not even the lowest score of the week, that honour still belonging to leader Cameron Smith.

Kevin Kisner’s 64th shot of the day just slides by on the 18th. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty ImagesI like these weekend mornings at Open Championships. The early starters are too far back to win but they act as a fun warm-up act, a sort of collective Ted Robbins. You also get some curiosities. I recall thinking at Lytham in 2012 that Andres Romero’s caddie looked uncannily like Carlos Tevez. In fact it was Carlos Tevez, the then Manchester City star acting as bagman for fellow his Argentine in the final round. It didn’t go well. Romero shot 82 to finish dead last and there were reports that Tevez fell into a bunker.

PreambleWelcome to Moving Day! American Kevin Kisner is certainly embracing that term after having a putt to be out in 29 this morning. More on him later.

It’s a while yet before the final pair of Cameron Smith and Cameron Young swish away from that iconic 1st tee ground although it’s the penultimate group of Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland who will take the biggest crowds with them as they make their away around St Andrews this afternoon.

With plenty of other big names lurking in behind, this could be a one of those special summer Open days. The sun is out, the Old Course looks an absolute picture so get comfy and see how round three of the 150th Open Championship unfolds.

Here are the tee times. All times BST, a denotes amateurs

8.35am Richard Mansell

8.45am Trey Mullinax, Kevin Kisner

8.55am Tony Finau, Adri Arnaus

9.05am Justin De Los Santos, Robert MacIntyre

9.15am Francesco Molinari, Dean Burmester

9.25am Lars van Meijel, Robert Dinwiddie

9.40am Sebastian Munoz, Jordan Smith

9.50am Sungjae Im, Aaron Jarvis (a)

10.00am Wyndham Clark, Sam Bairstow (a)

10.10am Christiaan Bezuidenhout, John Parry

10.20am Anthony Quayle, Chris Kirk

10.30am Hideki Matsuyama, Bryson DeChambeau

10.45am Jamie Rutherford, Jason Scrivener

10.55am Joaquin Niemann, Paul Casey

11.05am Marcus Armitage, Adrian Meronk

11.15am Justin Thomas, Jason Kokrak

11.25am Danny Willett, Corey Conners

11.35am Billy Horschel, Cameron Tringale

11.50am Laurie Canter, Thomas Pieters

12.00pm Russell Henley, Dylan Frittelli

12.10pm Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood

12.20pm Kurt Kitayama, Garrick Higgo

12.30pm Ian Poulter, Sam Burns

12.40pm David Law, Filippo Celli (a)

12.55pm Sergio Garcia, Will Zalatoris

1.05pm Shane Lowry, Nicolai Hojgaard

1.15pm Victor Perez, Brad Kennedy

1.25pm Joo-Hyung Kim, Patrick Reed

1.35pm Harold Varner III, Jon Rahm

1.45pm Jordan Spieth, Thriston Lawrence

2.00pm Thomas Detry, Xander Schauffele

2.10pm Lee Westwood, David Carey

2.20pm Yuto Katsuragawa, Abraham Ancer

2.30pm Aaron Wise, Lucas Herbert

2.40pm Barclay Brown (a), Sadom Kaewkanjana

2.50pm Min Woo Lee, Matt Fitzpatrick

3.05pm Si Woo Kim, Sahith Theegala

3.15pm Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott

3.25pm Talor Gooch, Tyrrell Hatton

3.35pm Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson

3.45pm Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland

3.55pm Cameron Young, Cameron Smith

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