The Open, third round, Great Scott July 21 2012
Adam Scott & Steve Williams/ photo AP
Adam Scott has taken control of The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes with a third round of -2 under par, 68, to lead the championship at -11 under par and by four strokes going into Sunday's final round. What a great coup it would be for his caddie, Steve Williams, who was unceremoniously sacked by Tiger Woods, and strangely Tiger has not been the same player since then. Adam was pretty satisfied with his solid day's play;
"It was all pretty solid stuff, considering the circumstances and how much trouble there is on this golf course. A four-shot lead doesn't seem to be very much this year on any golf tournament that I've watched, that doesn't mean a lot. The good part is if I play a solid round of golf tomorrow, it will be very hard for the others to beat me, and that's all I'm thinking about."
Brandt Snedeker, who lead at the start of play simply imploded, but managed to hang on tied for second at -7 under par, having suffered a +3 over par round, he said of his day;
"It's just one of those things where you've got to find out if you have some guts or don't. I could have packed up and gone home today, but I didn't."
Graeme McDowell is tied with Brandt in second place, at -7 under par , four shots adrift of Adam Scott. Graeme is hoping the conditions will change and make Adam work for his expected win;
"It will be in Adam's hands tomorrow if the conditions are as straightforward as they have been the last few days. Throw a bit of wind across this course like perhaps they are forecasting, he will have to go and work a lot harder and he will have to go win it. I kind of felt the tournament perhaps slipping away from me a little bit and really had to dig deep for some patience. From about the 14th tee onwards, it's probably about as good as I've swung the club all week."
One shot further back on -6 under par is Tiger Woods, who could only muster a par round today and from five shots back thinks his best chance is for Scott to struggle with his nerves while going for his first major.
"He's been out here a long time, and he's won a Players Championship. I don't think he's really done probably as well as he'd like to in Major championships. But I think that he's maturing in his game, and I think over the last year or so he's really improved his game."
There is only two other players who might have an outside chance in this championship, and they are; Ernie Els, who played well in the third round, with a -2 under par on the day and a total of -5 under par,and six shots back. Joining him on that total is Zach Johnson who fired a -4 under par third round.
I am sure that everyone who is chasing Adam is aware that he is the fourth Australian to have a 54-hole lead in a Major, and none of the other three, Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley or Greg Norman, left with the trophy under those circumstances.
Luke Donald, world number one, and Lee Westwood ranked at three in the world, have performed very poorly at Royal Lytham & St Annes, and will have to wait until the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island for their next chance to achieve Major glory.
World number two Rory McIlroy stumbled again in the third round and is now way behind at +5 over par for the tournament.