Eilidh Barbour presents highlights from the third round of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Commentary by Peter Allis, Ken Brown and Andrew Cotter.
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The beautiful art deco clubhouse at Royal Birkdale. Stylish. Bold.
Confident. But it is not the only iconic structure here this week. The
famous Open scoreboard. And whose name will adorn this particular
design classic on Sunday? Welcome to the third day at the
Open. Hello from Royal Birkdale where we have much brighter skies.
The iconic clubhouse behind me proving that we are indeed in the
same place, but it is almost unrecognisable after the wind and
rain of yesterday. It is Syahrin, perfect scoring conditions. It is
all set up for a super Saturday on the links, but before we get out on
the course, here is Andrew with a look back at what has been happening
over the first two days of play. Links golf is a thing of constant
change. On the second day, the wind switched around and play more
fiercely. The timid Rory McIlroy of the opening day was gone, 68 and a
spring in his stride, one of only four subpar McGroin is
fraud in the morning starters. Matt Kuchar was rolling in the putts and
smelling his way to a 61. The American challenges remain strong.
Then the rain came, wet rough getting thicker. All players looking
for shelter about Ian Poulter was one of those holding on and hanging
in for a level par round of 70. As the rain came, the winds draft, the
course often than the later starters could take advantage, none more than
Jordan Spieth. Still missing fairways but with the scrambling of
a genius. Clear of the rest, as he has been before. And what Spieth
starts, usually finishes, but he knows that nothing is certain in
golf, and we know how quickly things can change on the links. Jordan
Spieth is at the top of the leaderboard. Some great friends from
some of the British players. Ian Poulter three bag on 3-under par and
Richie Ramsay continuing the form that saw him finish second at the
Irish Open. McIlroy's round of 2-under par yesterday looks like a
great round in that weather. He is five behind the leader. The best
round of the day yesterday belonged to format Open champion Zach
Johnson. 4-under par. He is 1-over for the championship. Just one ahead
of defending champion Henrik Stenson. Tommy Fleetwood is through
to the third day for the first time. The following players missed the
cut. You might just get away with leaving the water proves at home
today. It is really lovely here at the moment. The third day is often
referred to as moving day, and in these conditions, it might live up
to that name. Ken Brown is down with somebody who is hoping to make a
charge up the leaderboard. The players come onto the football field
and McIlroy makes it onto the first tee. He is getting a great
reception. The crowd behind him. What a performance this week. This
is what faces him on the first hole. This narrow, tied their way. It is
one of the toughest tea-mac shots on the course. He is playing with Gary
Woodland. They will be offering about five minutes. We wish Rory
well, and all these people do as well. It will be quite a day for
him. Good luck. 3:25pm is the time for a Rory McIlroy. What will we see
from him today? He is playing with American Gary Woodland, who enjoyed
his best finish at the Open last year, in 12. Following them, the
Canadian, 20-year-old Austin Connelly. He is playing with
Scotland's Richie Ramsay, on course for a top 50 finish at the Open for
the first time. This is the penultimate great. Ian Poulter
finished second around this course in 2008. An all-American final
pairing. Matt Kuchar hoping to break his major dock alongside Jordan
Spieth, looking to add the Claret Jug to his collection. The fifth
hole is measuring slightly shorter today. Just 310 yards. This is
picketing Dustin Johnson with a three wood. Take a look at this
shot. He does not look too happy at first, but he got a bit of a lucky
bounce. Onto the green, and two putts from there would be a third
birdie of the day for Dustin. He would move to level par. Rickie
Fowler from the same tee, but a different group. A more traditional
route to the green, but an even better outcome. So close to an
albatross, but he would tap that in for eagle to go to level par. The
fourth eagle of the day on that hole. What a round of golf Branden
Grace is putting together, four birdies on the front nine 429 on way
out. This birdie putt at 14 to go to 6-under for the day. To the 16th,
the par four, and this monster putt for another birdie. When you have
got your eye on, the putts going. Par, par finish for Branden Grace
and he would equal the lowest ever round at a major championship for
men. But with the par five to come, Coetzee rewrite the history books?
Jordan Spieth the man to catch, but early charges from those on the
course. Branden Grace is 7-under par 3/16. He is within three. Dustin
Johnson is one further back. He is 5-under through 11 holes. They have
shown you can be aggressive, and this might suit this man.
From Northern Ireland, Rory McIlroy. Well, McIlroy knows, all the late
starters do, that the birdies are flying out there. It is time to find
some. The driver at the first. A massive drive for McIlroy. His
third round begins. Grace is staying at the possibility of the 62. This
is the par five. His second shot Andy Green is well within range. A
narrow target. -- and the green. My goodness. He has a treacherous leave
fast putt. What an iron. Covering the flag the whole way. He made
finish three, three. McIlroy, the second shot at the first. That was a
big divot. Has he got enough ball? He certainly has. A majestic shot. A
ripper. All eyes at the moment on this man,
Branden Grace. This is a quick one, but it is a putt for eagle on the
17th. 7-under at the moment. Get in, he says. Drifting, but good for
pace. It will be another birdie. Number eight in this round for
Branden Grace. He now just needs par on the last and he will be the first
man in major championship history to shoot 62. One hole to go.
The third green, Russell Henley, trying to open his birdie account
for the day. It is not far away. Off he goes, getting into red numbers.
Is there are still enough? It is plenty of club.
-- is there still enough. Just about the perfect line for Branden Grace.
He could not ask for anything better. Safely on, and two putts. It
is a good shot, but quite a way from the hole. And running away.
Darcy, on the seventh, he birdied the fifth. He recovered well from a
bad first round with 69 yesterday. -- Garcia, or in the seventh hole.
He likes it. Another birdie. Garcia is level par for the championship.
They welcome home Branden Grace to the 18th green. On that putting
surface, they will shortly see great drama. 62. Back to the first,
McIlroy, after the magnificent second, this for an opening birdie
and a big cheer. CHEERING
What a grand way to start your round. The crowd know what is at
stake. Two putts for a record 62. Is it good for pace? It is a great putt
by Grace. Two feet left and he will have the 62.
McIlroy, the second to the second. He birdied the first.
I think he fancies it. Dead on line. Five or six yards short. A good
shot. One shot left for Branden Grace, the
62nd of his day. There it is. There it is for Branden
Grace. It seemed an unbreakable barrier it is in major goal for men.
29 before had shot 63. Jack Nicklaus, McIlroy, Norman, all of
them. But Branden Grace becomes the first man to shoot 62 in a major.
Thanks very much. I really enjoyed it. It was a pleasure to see you
play. Thank you. That was awesome. Accepting the congratulations. What
a performance by Branden Grace. He did not hit many bad shots in around
like mad. 62, his own little piece of history. A great swing from the
20-year-old Austin Connelly. He just fired it at the pin. He looks a
serious talent. The champion on the 12th, Henrik Stenson. A difficult
pin to get close to today, hidden behind a hill.
Rolling well. In she goes. Stenson. That gets him to 1-under for the
Championship. He's not going to give up his Claret Jug. Two lovely shots
for Austin Connelly. The 20-year-old Canadian, and a putt to match.
Perfect start. McIlroy at the second. This is a
slowish putt. Quite a swing. He's done it. Oh, it turned the other
way. How can you putt on greens like
this? ! Magnificent effort. Mother nature's been very kind on
this third day, and the scoring has shown that. The players have played
beautifully, none more so than Branden Grace, in with 62, setting
all sorts of records. Let's hear how he did it.
How did it feel to walk off the 18th knowing you were the first man in
442 Majors to shoot 62? It was awesome. It was a special day. It's
obviously great being in history. But it's great to be able to go out
on a Saturday and shoot a number to try to get yourself back in
contention. To be honest, I wasn't thinking about it. I didn't actually
know, I was just making the birdies and I was just on the run trying to
finish the 18 without a bogey and that was the main thing on my mind.
After the putt on 18? Yes, I had no idea until then. Both came and said
congratulations, I knew it was a great round but I didn't know it was
in he history books, you know. They told me and I said, what are you
talking about. It was great. It makes it even more special and even
better doing it at a British Open, at The Open, this is my eighth one
and it's definitely one that I'm liking so far.
Can he convert this shot? He certainly can. Lovely birdie. On the
tee from the USA, Jordan Spieth. Played very well yesterday in foul
weather. What can he do on a perfect day?
There are better places fancy. Ken's found one of them.
Golf courses are amazing for lots of things. One of them is the wildlife.
You never know what you are going to find. I'm having a ramble here.
Quite a few butterflies about. There they are. One down here, called the
Gatekeeper. Can you see it down there? Sitting on the bramble. This
week is the big butterfly count so if you are interested in doing the
butterfly count, butterfly conservation. Look at him, a little
beautiful thing. It's not quite warm enough for him to fly at the moment
so you can get your hand quite close to it. Look at this for a... There
will have been a few people that needed one of these yesterday. A
mushroom. Could have used it for an umbrella! I love links courses,
they're good for the environment, good for the wildlife and I'm
particularly interested in butterflies and there's loads here.
Well done, Ken. Look at this little beauty. What's down there then? I'm
going to pop in here for a minute and see what's about. You never know
when you get your nose into something.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE. Have another look at this. Gives it
a good old crack, very youthful swing. Eyeing it. Dead on line. One
bounce and oh! That's the way you do it!
Matsuyama getting his fair share there. Richie Ramsey's attempt at
the second. Yes, yes! Three for Ramsey. Better by his playing
partner, Austin Connelly. Spieth. Easily passed by Spieth up
and down as he does so often. A par to begin his third round for the
leader. McIlroy. First of the short holes.
Where is he, where is he, where is he? Come on. Well, I thought it
sounded a bit clumpy when he hit that, as if he'd gone too deep on
line but short. Austin Connelly, magical start, birdie eagle, but a
bit of bother here on the third. Magical run is over. That for his
par. McIlroy short of the fourth, par-3.
Well short. You don't want to be dropping shots with totally
misjudged shots. That looks... Pretty good. By golly! Just when
you've seen it all, they do something silly like that. It's
wonderful. What with young Connelly starting, McIlroy pitching in. What
a day this has been. What a rare mood I'm in. Another look. See the
hump in front of him, this is no pushover, just gets it to the top of
the hill, destined for the hole all the way. The huge crowd here today
are having their money's worth. I don't think I've ever seen more
people on a golf course and are they enjoying it? !
Connelly to save his par on the third.
No pars yet. Birdie, eagle, bogey for the young Canadian. Stenson at
the 15th. Second shot. This is a great opportunity for a birdie or
eagle on this 5-par hole. It's not gone the other way. That leaves a
difficult four. Kuchar. Good lie, just off the fairway. Second shot at
the second. Good straight shot is all that's needed. And he's done it.
Good shot. All the players are out on the
course. 6-under the target set by Jordan Spieth and Branden Grace's 62
takes him within two shots. Dustin Johnson also making it to three
back, as is Rory McIlroy. What a start from the Northern Irishman.
McIlroy having a cut at the fifth. Couple of twos here. Par-4 in
reality, but the tee's born brought up and that's sailing high.
Handsome? It certainly is. Hello, hello!
Threewood for McIlroy. 310 yards today. Stunning.
Cabrera-Bello. Little chip up the green. Making a mockery of the game
today. Everywhere you look from all sorts of distances.
Just playing a 7-iron chip. Maybe more aloft than I thought. Beautiful
shot. Kuchar just folds himself into
position. This for his first birdie of the day.
Yes, indeed. Kuch-Kuch they call him.
Brooks Koepka, chance of a birdie. Absolutely dead straight. Rattled
in. It was going at some speed. Koepka hops on board the birdie
train, bogeyed the first. Casey nearing the end of his round.
Playing alongside Dustin Johnson. Something for Paul Casey. Turned 40
yesterday. Kuchar and Spieth side by side,
Kuchar playing first. Difficult to get a good view of this pin.
And it's just about there. Just in. What a shot from cut ah. Ramsey at
the fourth. Birdie putt. Oh, yes indeed!
Spieth and his caddy have been taking an inordinate amount of time
deciding how to play, particularly after the magnificent previous shot.
Let's see if all that talking has done any good.
It did! Would you believe it? It did.
Come on, come on, oh, golly. That's a three. Tee shot, on line put. Six
inches short. Still a three and a birdie.
What a simple hole the third is. Great stuff. 6-under.
Koepka. Can he get to 4-under? Yes, he can. So Brooks Koepka bogeyed the
first but birdies on the third and fourth.
This is Chan Kim from the United States. He is on the tenth hole. It
is a short par four. We are seeing more and more of these shots. Give
the best players in the world the best conditions and they will do
this kind of thing. A tap in birdie for Kim. What a beautiful day. The
man who once possessed the most beautiful swinging golf, Frank
Noble, is joining our commentary team. Thank you. Two weeks ago, the
course looked exactly like it does just now but they soften in bile --
the softening of the golf course by the overnight rain has made it
perfect, can you see perfect? Spieth and Kuchar, pushing each other
along. The lean of a man who has lost it a little bit to the right.
Short and right. At one stage he threatened Branden
Grace's round of 62. I am not sure I have seen a player
frustrated with a 64 before. But Dustin Johnson now as he left a few
shots out there and the others were making headway as well. A wonderful
round of golf, no bogeys, six birdies.
A 64 for Dustin Johnson, 3-under par, four back from Jordan Spieth
who has picked up his first birdie of the day. Matt Kuchar is right in
touch with his fellow American. Let's hear from Johnson. How much
more did you enjoy today as opposed to yesterday? It was difficult
conditions. The first to Maghreb days I was getting up and down from
everywhere, hanging in there. Keeping myself remotely in the
tournament. I really hit it badly the first two days. I got some good
practice in this morning, some good feel, and I started swinging better.
Today I controlled the ball nicely and take lots of great shots. Brooks
Koepka, going for it on the fifth, just a three wood. He might have to
take something of this. 298 yards as the crow flies. He gives it a
fearful whack. I beautiful shot from Koepka. Not as close as McIlroy, but
that for an eagle. Poulter, not as long as Koepka, hence the driver at
the fifth. He needs everything. He nearly fell over. Past it. There we
are. Stay. A lovely drive. I think the crowd pushed that around.
He was up early. No rotation of the clubface. Jamie Lovemark. Not quite
joining the party, but he might get an invitation. Kuchar left his first
putt from just off the front of the fourth Green a long way short. One
shot will go. You know you're following a long way back with
bogeys. Losing ground. Kuchar slips back to five. That is the option for
Poulter. Firmly on the red Line, more gently on the black line.
Either way, this is for eagle. On neither line. Rory is in trouble at
seven. Even the best falter. There are a few watching familiar with
that shot. Koepka, his eagle putt. There are the options. Firmly on the
Red Line. More gently on the black line, to give you an idea. It is a
two putt birdie. For Koepka, it is birdie on the third of the fourth
and the fifth. Getting a run going, two behind Spieth.
A much-needed birdie for Poulter. He drove the green.
Kuchar, two back, electing to try and drive the green at the fifth.
He will have to threaded through the bunkers at the front. He has. One of
the best we have seen. These players are showing us how the game should
be played today. What a scene, water setting, what a stretch of golfing
terrain. Birkdale, Hillside, Formby, further down the coast. West Lancs.
Nealon of 60,000 spectators coming here today. Amazing crowds. McIlroy,
problems coming out of the rough, and this to save par. A backward
step for McIlroy. Bogeys today really are the hand
brakes. A dropped shot for Rory McIlroy moves him back to 3-under
par. Matt Kuchar also dropped a shot. He is on 5-under, but Brooks
Koepka, with three birdies on the bones moves into second. There are
two shots behind the man in front, Jordan Spieth. The sixth green in
the distance for Koepka. He wants this to stay in the air. Does it
stay? One more yard. A putt for a two. An eagle on the
fifth for Kuchar. Goodness me. It finishes right behind the hole.
Kuchar denied an eagle, a chance to tie the lead. There it goes. One
behind his playing partner again. Koepka forced to chip at six.
Because of the steepness of the bank. It was very nearly going to
come back to him. McIlroy, unleashing on the eighth hole.
He lost it on the breeze, what little there is today. Bunkers, and
the ditch. He is more worried about the bunkers. Some nasty, thick rough
as well. All will soon be revealed. Poulter, testing his bunker skills
on the sixth hole. He has hit some great ones this week already. Add
this to the list. Rickie Fowler. A beautiful shot into
the 15th. Not much going on there, and eagle, and a birdie at the par
five. Time for an escape now for the US open champion.
He does. He stays within two. He needs now is to keep that momentum
going. Out of jail. Jamie Lovemark, to get to 2-under par at the
difficult eighth hole. It took its time and made up its
mind. Lots of usable green to the left of
this flag and perhaps a little past four Spieth.
-- for Spieth. Nothing left. Straight at it. Stenson at 18.
Trying to push a little closer. Well, we have seen lots of different
shots. This is awkward. The grass behind his ball is forcing him to
putt. He gave this a bit tougher wrap. A lovely touch from Matt
Kuchar. -- a bit of a rap. Yesterday
afternoon, McIlroy hit some fantastic pitches. Misjudgement from
the tee. He will have that to save par. The greens are a little quicker
today, little smoother. This is down the slope.
Slightly misread, just the one red figure on his card, despite the
second shot at number six. There are massive crowds out there today. They
are really enjoying this display of golf. He leads by one. Stenson at
18. A chance to get to 4-under par. This would take him round in 64. He
has given himself a transfer Sunday's final round. A great round
of golf for the Iceman. They love him. 69, 73, 65 today for 3-under.
Koepka, in the bunker from the tee on the short par three. Once again,
trying to get away with par. His putting does not save him this time.
Let's have a look at the scoreboard. It is exciting. Branden Grace around
in 62, a record low for a major championship. He is at 8-under in
the clubhouse. Spieth leads from Kuchar.
Let's catch up with Henrik Stenson. 65 today, just the one birdie -- the
one bogey and six birdies. How do you feel your plate? It is the best
I have played and the best my putting has been. I was reading the
greens well. I hit lots of solid putts earlier in the week. More
could have dropped in. I am pleased with that around. Hopefully by the
end of the day we might have made up a few on the leaders. It will need
something special tomorrow to challenge, but at least we might
have an outside chance. My goodness. Bogeys today, the
fielders charging past you. You cannot afford many bogeys. He found
our bad life from his tee shot. -- he found a bad lie from the tee. The
sign is certainly shining today. You can see this short par three, the
seventh hole. We will find Ken Brown down there. One of my favourite
par-3s is number 7, elevated tee back there. This very small green
with seven bunkers around it, including this one with a little
island in it which is very awkward. Because you are playing from an
elevated tee, the ball plugs in it sometimes and you are in an awkward
spot. This bunker on the left is one of the deeper ones. If you look how
steep the lip is, it's interesting. Oh, my Lord!
LAUGHTER. It's the Beef. Perhaps he sleeps
there. He's off! The bunker on the other side, this
is the smallest one on the green. Cheers, Beef. Did you have a good
night's sleep? Tuck a couple of balls in there and you can see if
you get to the bottom you get a half decent lie. If you don't, you could
be in a tricky spot. Splash it out here. Lovely sand here. Can't teach
that. The eternal vegetarian, Ken Brown, both hands full there. The
hole looks slightly different minus Ken Brown here. Spieth.
Quite a few birdies. One at the third, one at the fifth, one at the
eighth and now one at the 15th. Fisher moves to 2-under. Doesn't
waste much time once he's over the ball. Spieth for two at the seventh.
Learnt a bit from his playing partner. And he makes no mistake,
extends his lead to two. 8-under. I think he's going to be tough to
beat. Just four yards from the back of the
green, got to be careful, you go down a steep bank if you go over
there. Rory's second. But... Might soon be five. Needs to
get going again. Koepka. Good line to attack this pin. And a helping
hand. Yes! McIlroy slams it into forward
gear again. 32. Look at that. Wonderful scene.
We are just here off the ninth green, Rory just walking past us.
The spring has returned a little bit after that hole. There was a bit of
a blip over seven and eight. There certainly was. There was a huge roar
on the ninth when he made that birdie putt. It was almost
reminiscent of what happened two days ago, looks like he was gone, on
the verge of yet another misputt. He turned it around. The roar there on
the ninth, all these people right here are rooting for Rory. We should
mention the incredible crowd, it's not just around Rory but the whole
course. Jordan Spieth out in front, the difficult thing is getting him
off the top of the leaderboard when he's there. He is well entrenched
and confident. He got his tenth win on the PGA Tour, only one got it at
a younger age, that was Tiger Woods. Over the last couple of years, this
is what we have wanted, Spieth, McIlroy, by the looks of things, we
are just about to get it. Rory McIlroy's 3-under, he's on the
tenth. Fresh off the birdie at nine. Two
bunkers down the left. Perilously close.
Kuchar perfect tee shot. Pin on the back ledge of this eighth. Good
stuff. The flag's right about there! Just a puff of a breeze from his
left to push this towards the flag. Ross Fisher. Chance to get to
3-under. And he does it right in the heart of it. He joins the others in
tied position for fifth. Kuchar for a birdie.
Now, third for McIlroy at ten. Didn't make the sand but this is
ugly. Some of that is really thick rough and not much green to work
with. Down slope. Just had a momentary lapse of concentration.
He's taken a gamble here. A lot of players couldn't have played that
without strength. Spieth. Just watch this. It's like it's on a piece of
string running on ice. Absolutely magical. 9-under. There
was a touch of Tom Watson there. There's birdies all over the place
at the moment. Jordan Spieth moves to 9-under, a two-shot lead restored
over Matt Kutcher on 7-under. Back-to-back birdies for Fisher on
the sixth hole has him six back on 3-under. McIlroy splashed into the
next bunker. He's playing fourth on an awkward lie. Done pretty well to
get there. Just to drop the one stroke.
Flat lie. Poulter from just over 160 yards.
Can he? Can he? No. A six on one of the easier holes. For a lesser
player, you might say that's his Open Championship over but he's so
capable of stringing five birdies together.
Nicely done for Ian Poulter. Little birdie at nine takes him at level
par. Drops two birdies. 3-under. Found a pretty good lie in the right
rough, Kuchar. Doesn't want to go over the back of
the green. Is it going to get up the bank at
the front? No, it doesn't. Scared of a slight flyer.
Been very impressed with his irons in the past hour or so, Peter.
Striking the ball beautifully. Looks impregnable at this moment but still
a lot can happen. He looks very calm. Always looks so calm.
Maybe too far. Yes, it is. One short. One past.
Richie Ramsey. This is a good angle to putt from, but not really for a
par. Left it short. Kuchar. Beautiful
grass but not for the faint-hearted. Finds the centre of the hole. Great
viewing spot. No birdies here yesterday. There's
been a few today. Bubba makes one. 7-under.
If he misses any, they are this sort of length and a bit nearer. Breaks a
bit more than you think this one. It will dive right if he doesn't keep
the pace up. Got it. It was moving. The pin is on the left edge of that
TV tower. Can't see the flag. 143 yards. Good angle for Poulter.
Is that Ryder Cup buzz coming around the corner? Psyching himself up.
Matsuyama. Third shot, 15th hole. Very well played. Deep bunker.
Chance of a birdie. Alex Loren. He's trundled it in.
Look at that, all pars. Just outside the left edge. Ian
Poulter birdies the ninth. He's got it. 4-under. Only three players
ahead of him. I think he's enjoying it.
Matsuyama after a splendid bunker shot. Oh!
Took an awful long time to settle there. As if he wasn't sure what to
do. Everything worked out. As long as it doesn't go off the green. Oh,
would you believe it? ! It didn't deserve that.
67, 71, 71, 67. Connelly, his third shot that the 11th. Over the bunker.
McIlroy. 185 yards. At the 12th. The pin is back right. He is trying to
cut it in. It takes great skill to get that this flag. Very good, pin
high left. Poulter. He drives up the 11. Not in the.
Gee-whiz. -- not in there. In that horrid patchwork. A wry smile.
Perhaps not. When he gets there, he will not be smiling. With the modern
ball and the modern sand wedge they can do such deft things from this
range. He nearly did it, just delightful. That little bit of grit.
Brilliant from Kuch. Gary Woodland at the 12th. Two over. Oh, boy. It
has been a feast for the masses of spectators. It would not surprise me
if it is another record. A good tea-mac shot, he spun his ball off
the front of the green with his second at ten. He used the putter up
to here. This is to save par. He does not always bash it in. That was
more of a caress. No bogeys on his card, with three birdies. Poulter,
creeping along nicely. This is his third shot. He is not happy with
that. Got into trouble, hacked out. Well, I have seen worse than that. A
good putt will solve all problems. At the 12th, McIlroy. Never an easy
green to red. Well, he has misread it. It looks like a par three. Still
a trio of Americans that lead the way at Royal Birkdale. All separated
by four shots. Jordan Spieth in front, 9-under par. He is setting
the target to match. This is going to be a big drive. Three bunkers on
the right, to a crawl on the left. -- two on the left. Where is it
going? Jeepers creepers. You do not go that far on your holidays.
Poulter to save par. Another shot goes. Too many bogeys on Poulter's
card. He was in trouble from the tee on
the final hole, Fisher. This four par. It will be at least one shot.
Still a bit to do. He has scarcely put a foot wrong today. The 11th
hole, Jordan Spieth. 167 yards to go.
The long 13th, reduced to very little by McIlroy. Can he make
something happen before it is too late? That is pretty good. The putts
do need to drop. Chan Kim at 17. Two great shots.
This for an eagle. Will it come back? Not quite, but a solid birdie.
He moves to 3-under. Bubba Watson, and the chance to get
to 2-under at the 15th. The ball is there somewhere. It is there. He
does enjoy a par five for a snack. Just the one birdie today for Bubba
Watson. Spieth, another birdie chance, this is to get to double
figures. He fancied that one as well. He is not taking any risks.
That is only about nine inches. He is nothing if not thorough. The
spectators moving on to get in position. In the she goes. -- in she
goes. He says wow a lot, Jordan Spieth. So, 25 feet and one inch
four Kuchar. This for his birdie. 9.7 inches of uphill completely fill
them. Bubba Watson. A chance to get to 2-under par at the 15th. The ball
as there somewhere. It is there. He does enjoy a par five Furness. Just
the third birdie two for Bubba Watson. Spieth, another birdie
chance. This to get to double figures. No. He fancied that one as
well. He is not taking any risks. That is only about nine inches. He
is nothing if not thorough. The spectators moving on to get in
position. In she goes. He says wow a lot, Jordan Spieth.
McIlroy looking for his three on the 13th. Moving. Unhappy. It has all
gone a little bit wrong for Rory McIlroy. A double bogey on the
tenth. No birdies since. Outside the top ten.
Connelly at 13. He has hit a beauty from the tee. A long iron in. He has
a good game face. He certainly does. He gives nothing away. He would make
a fine poker player. He would soon get rid of all his prize-money.
Poulter, it needs to drop. And shot gone furry Ian Poulter. He slips
back. Back-to-back bogeys. Costly. Not putting a foot wrong, is he? No.
When he takes a tiny step out of line, he is quickly on it and
recovers well. This one is heading left. The pin is back right. You can
really attack this pin. It seems tucked away. That is a beautiful
shot from Jordan Spieth. Rory McIlroy on his way to the 14th tee.
Ken has been looking at the pin position. Day three and I have got
the pin positions for today's play. Some of them are tighter than you
would anticipate. This one is four from the edge. This one is only nine
feat. Quite a few are near the edge. The 14th is ten on from the front
and four from the right-hand side. It is perched on the very edge of
the green, with the bunker guarding it right at the front. One, two,
three, four, five and a half yards over the bunker and if you slip to
the right, the ball will get dragged off. It goes down the edge. When you
hear the commentator said, you have missed on the short side, it means
you have missed on the side the pin is caught. It is awkward to get up
and down in two from there. Impossible to get to this flag with
the wind coming from the right. You will have to in for the centre of
the green and putt for the flag. If you land here, you have the whole
width of the green to a mad. It is only about a 15-20 foot putt. This
14th, that is a Rascal of the pin. McIlroy might be dragged into
chasing the pins. He is a long way behind Spieth. Dark skies above.
Sick, says the master. -- sit, says. A beautiful shot. Just to the left
of the flying, exactly where he was aiming. The third shot for Matsuyama
at the par five 17th. That is woeful. It was all follow through
and no backswing. Connelly, he seems to play without
fear. That was a rather timid putt. If it is birdie after a daft chip.
Matsuyama to move to 4-under. He has holed it. He moves into a tie for
fourth. Matt Kuchar, a long, long birdie
putt. John Woods tending the flag. A lovely deep iron to 15 feet. This
four birdie four McIlroy. Momentum has just gone. You wonder if it is
going to be one of those majors were McIlroy threatens, he is there or
thereabouts but he cannot quite get to the very top. A perfect look at
the line of Jordan Spieth's birdie putt at the 12th.
He cannot quite get into double figures. Doing enough to keep the
rest of the field that day, though. -- at bay, though. Kim at 18. Up and
down for 67. Beautifully played. Whipping the right hand through, and
the club risking under the ball, flopping it out on a soft pillow of
sand. He is trying to save par at 17. A little heavy-handed.
Chan Kim, the American, born in Korea, grew up in Hawaii. The final
shot of the day. In she goes. 67. Playing alongside Ernie els today. A
wonderful round. McIlroy, trying to make something happen. The par five.
Matsuyama's second to the final hole. Hold that pose. He crumples
and disappointment. That is all right. Better than that.
Koepka for bogey. OK. Just the one dropped. He is now three batting
Kuchar, and five behind Spieth. Another shot gone for Poulter. Three
in a row for him. It's slipping away from him.
Bubba Watson. Couple of holes from home but this to drop just one.
Double bogey in the 16th. Matt Kuchar on the 13th. Looks heavy. Can
he get enough club on this to chase it up to the green. Looks straight.
Wants a good bounce. Oh, and he got it. It was a good shot.
The sky is so dark here. They are talking about possible storm
disruption very soon. Spieth second to 13th. Softly-softly, he says.
McIlroy's crashed a huge drive down here. Mid iron to this par-5.
Something special. And it is very, very special indeed. That for me
though. And they're still willing him on. Kuchar from the back of the
13th. Up and over the top. Up she goes. Looks good.
Matsuyama. He's reached the final green. This for a birdie and a round
of 65. Not quite. 66 for Matsuyama. Spieth from just over the back of
13. This for birdie. He may have learnt from Kuchar's. Or he may not.
So a par apiece on the 13th for the two leaders. Still Jordan Spieth
ahead of Matt Kuchar by two shots. Look at the round from Branden
Grace. He's in amongst the mix, the first time in a men's major we have
seen a 62 and here is how he did it. Let's take you through the very
first 62 in men's major golf history. Branden Grace. He was off
to a flyer, a very early starter. Started 4-over one inside the cut
mark. At the first, he found his first birdie. His next came at the
fourth. The par-3, long, long birdie putt. But this was a sign of things
to come. Never had a great record at Open Championship. Just one top 20.
Here at the fifth, took the driver and got his reward.
No eagle but a two-putt birdie and his third of the day. So today, the
par-4 and the putt working once more. Seen it done before this week
but this was for 29 on the front nine. Beautifully judged. And
Branden Grace at this stage must have been wondering what was
possible, although he said he never knew, never thought about the
record. Par-3 and another two for Grace. Not
had a great season. Seldom missed the cut.
At this stage he was 7-under trying to get on two in the par-5. What a
shot this was. Two putts for a birdie. 8-under and then this, the
62nd shot of the day. And the first time that had been done by a man,
major golf history. 62 for Branden Grace. After that, this must go in,
don't miss this! Austin Connelly. Youthful character
from Canada. 3-under. He had a couple of chances, missed a couple,
but he's kept going wonderfully well. Showing very good nerve and
concentration. Spieth. The last of the short holes. I think he likes
it. He fences it. Perhaps he's ringfenced it. Right length, wrong
line. Kuchar trying to get nearer the pin than Spieth. He looks a
little more pleased with that. Cabrera-Bello. Par-5. Go left a
bit... And get up on to to the green. A beauty from Rafa.
18th hole for Alex Noren. At long iron, he's well back.
Suits his shape. He's a left-to-righter. All pars and one
birdie so far. Might be his second birdie of the day. That was a
wonderful shot. Austin Connelly will give it a whack one day. He'll put
on some beef and who knows what 'll happen. This for birdie. Three from
the front edge. Good pace. Be easy to putt it into
the bunker from there. Koepka's second on 15. That looks to be
pretty good. Pitched all the way. Absolutely where he was aiming.
Northern for a birdie. -- Noren for a birdie. Bit of a dribbler. Kuchar
for a birdie. 14th hole. 32. Well, we are coming
to the end of this third round and I wonder if there's going to be a
couple of twists and stings in the tail.
This is not one of Spieth's favourite lengths. Could be a
two-shot swing if he misses this. Only a one-shot swing. Kuchar two,
Spieth three, and it's on to the 15th.
Ken's been looking at the 15th. I'm standing on the 15th fairway and the
tee is there. It's the first par-5 and a demanding tee shot no matter
where the wind is, due to the bunkering. There are three down the
left and two on the right. Let's have a look. Here is the first down
the left. This is the tee back here. The first doesn't come into play.
This one can if the wind is strongly in your face. This one here, that
little bunker there, that's 270 yards to clear it. But the tricky
thing if you can clear that and push it, you get gathered up by these on
the right hand side. There are two there. 300 to reach them. 312 to
clear them. The wind behind you can clear that. The whole doing leg is
at the moment where you want the ball to land. The tactics are,
depending on the breeze, you can hit it here, if you are there you can
hit it here, but the play, interestingly, is if the wind is
behind and you can take this out of play, and most of the play, can do
270 yards in the air, you can carry this one. If you pull it a bit, come
and see what the rough is like over this bunker. The rough over here, if
you can carry this, you'll avoid the ones on the right, this rough down
here is actually very fluffy. In fact, from here, you get the best
angle in and basically the rough is very light. There's almost nothing
here. If you can carry that bunker, find this left rough, you have got
the best angle in and the rough is very light. The tactics here are
encompassing, they're tricky. He knows, you know! Here is Kuchar.
What ploy is he going to use? Middle right.
Spieth trying to follow Kuchar up the fairway. Spieth may be a bit
longer than Kuchar. The bunkers could be in play but he's hit them
up the left. That should be perfect. And it is.
Eagle try for Brooks Koepka. Hawkeye showing the corridor. Good putt.
Will it get there? It will not! Good grief. Agony for Koepka.
He moves to 5-under. In sole possession of third place right now.
You don't want to go paddling there. You have to go eight miles before
you go knee deep and it's very treacherous. Come on, Poulter get a
birdie you've let it slip through your fingers the last few holes.
Well done! 18th fairway. Rafa Cabrera-Bello.
Second shot. Trying to cut it into the front right hole position.
Trying to help it. And a pretty good shot.
Kuchar. It is a mighty big hit for him to reach the screen. He might
find a bit of fairway with a bit of bounce and scuttle it up to the
front. He did not need it. It landed on the green. Good hit. That was
massive. Spieth taking a wood. Not that far
from the green. He must be coming from a pretty soft, high cut. --
must be going for. There it is. He looks right at it. Beautifully
played from Spieth. It should be a safe birdie.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello. This putt 467, to move to 3-under. He has been
stroking it well. Will he get his reward? They will. A good round. He
moves up to sixth place. Rounds of 67, 73 in the wind, and 67 today. He
is usually a very good judge of distance. Spieth. Can he judge the
distance? Its wings one way and then it swings back. A long putt. Turn to
the right. Turn to the right. He missed it all together. That is very
unlike him. Two very important tee shots coming up. If he is really
going to be challenging tomorrow, he needs to finish no worse than four,
four. That is aware right, in the lap of
the gods. Bunkers there. -- that is way
Well, if Kuchar halls and Spieth misses, we will have a new leader.
Relatively straight. Certainly a much easier putt than Jordan Spieth
had. It is not far away. It does not quite have the legs.
A good birdie. He is now tied with Spieth at 9-under.
Richard Bland. Look at this one. He has played some very steady golf
this season, and indeed last year. Now we will just see. Master Spieth.
That first putt was a surprise. It surprised me because he is usually
so good on distance and line. It made him laugh. Golf does that, it
makes you laugh, just before you take out your here. -- tear out your
hair. It does not matter. Sele V. The crowd needed a bit of
excitement. Only three holes left. -- c'est la vie. So, Spieth still
leads by one. Three holes left. I am sure there could be a sting in the
tail before we pick up the shutters tonight. Kuchar, past Arnold
Palmer's plaque in the rough on the right. That is heading towards it. I
think it will be on the fairway. It will not make it. It is very close
to army. He could be in serious trouble. -- to Arnie. A birdie putt
for Koepka. No. He has been relatively quiet. Five birdies, but
sadly, three bogeys. McIlroy, the third shot on the par five. He was
wide right with his tee shot. Not too bad. He caught it a little bit
heavy. As the rain begins to fall at Royal
Birkdale, how will that affect the remaining few holes for the leaders?
Jordan Spieth still the man out in front. The birdie at 15 taking him
to 10-under par, but Matt Kuchar is not going away. A birdie on -- a
birdie for him at the Sam Hall and he is one back, on 9-under par.
McIlroy, for birdie at 17. All caused by a misdirected tee shot.
The back nine have not been his favoured holes. Kuchar did find the
sand from the tee, so just splashing out on the 16th. Costly, costly.
Connelly. His second shot at the 17th. Skipping through. Is it going
to miss? Not quite enough steam. A very good lie for Jordan Spieth,
just off the fairway on 16. Walking after it. To the heart of
the green. And close as well. Another birdie perhaps coming for
Spieth. He is putting his way around today. Kuchar, the third shot to the
16th. In the sand from the tee, splashing out to here.
The bunker camera, and Austin Connelly. That is how you do it.
Matt Kuchar has not dropped a shot since the fourth. This to avoid
doing so at the 16th. Go, go, he is crying already. No,
no. All sorts of bother for Kuchar. Connelly at the 17th. A putt for
birdie. In she goes. Well done, young man. 4-under, very good
indeed. There is a chance that Spieth may be as many as four
cleared at the moment. Kuchar in trouble, his playing partner. This
for birdie. Kuchar racing in to watch. My word, that was close. Just
a par. He stays at 10-under. But his lead will grow. Kuchar has a putt
for bogey. That is the story at the moment, but
it is about to change. Kuchar is going to drop at least one. But it
is two. Spieth will lead by three. He did not even looked displeased
with his drive, Kuchar, but it went into the sand, out onto the fairway,
a loose third, and three putts. A double bogey and he is now three
adrift. Down the right-hand side, but he has got a good lie. Sending
it high, hoping for some control. That is pretty good from there.
Flattered to deceive in this round, got off to a good start, but has
toiled a bit since then. Brooks Koepka, his playing partner, Ian
Poulter, getting his ball out of the way.
Nicely done. Very nicely done by Koepka. A chance to creep closer to
Matt Kuchar in second place. McIlroy, on the final green.
Is there one at the last? No. That rather sums up the day. So near yet
so far. He is some way distant of the lead of Jordan Spieth. Rory
McIlroy, it is only a 69. Home in 37, over-par for the back nine and I
think that has cost him dearly in this year's Open Championship. That
is the leaderboard, the United States one, two and three. It is
stretching out. Branden Grace, the 62. You have to go down to the
second page of the leaderboard to find the first home contender. Ross
Fisher, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter all on the same number.
Let's get the thoughts of Rory McIlroy. Normally when one shoots in
the 60s, below par, it is a good feeling. How do you feel today?
Disappointed, especially after the start I got of two, 3-under through
the fifth hole. I had a chance to be 4-under. Just a couple of sloppy
holes in the middle of their own. I give myself some opportunities on
the back nine but was not able to capitalise. A disappointing last
nine calls. What will be the main set for Sunday? Just try and shoot a
better score than today. I am not sure about the weather will bring,
but if I want to have a chance, I need bad weather, and I need to play
well and I need the leaders to struggle. Just go out there tomorrow
and play as well as I can and see what happens. Richie Ramsay's second
shot to the last. He has just been hanging in there
today. Be right, the eternal hold full cry of the golfer. It is.
1-over for his round at the moment, Richie Ramsay. He has been slipping
down the leaderboard, but an opportunity on the final hole.
Koepka, that very good shot up to the 17th flag. This for birdie.
Yes, sir, well done. Koepka goes 6-under. Kuchar, spanking one down
the 17th. Is it straight? No. It is a troublesome little thing, isn't
it? Spieth. A long iron. This is a good hit, he has got to rely on
running it between the bunkers. That could be right. That was a big
bounce into the back of the bunker. You need to be 15 yards left of
there. If it is that one on the left, that could be a minor golfing
disaster. Connelly, towards the bright white clubhouse and the dark
sky. Look at the ball sail. I think he likes it. Why not? A wonderful
shot from Connelly. Perfect for distance. He and Ramsay threatening
the hole on the last. Still not a flicker of a smile. Kuchar has to
crouch down to get that big frame in position.
Oh, looks good. Wonderful shot from Matt Kuchar. He'll have his birdie
surely. Now, can Spieth match it? Connelly. Come on, my boy, finish in
a blaze of glory. He has a funny old grip. It's going to go right in!
Well done, young Sir! Brilliant stuff.
Perhaps we've found the only one many the world with a young head on
old shoulders. This is Spieth from a very awkward
spot. He's up and out. It looks as if it might only be a par-5.
Richie Ramsey on the final green. Final putt perhaps. That may well
go. That may well go. And it does. Ramsey finishes birdie-birdie, hits
a level par round. He joins the other home contenders.
McIlroy, Poulter and now Ramsey. Spieth for a birdie.
He gets the birdie and gets the familiar sound and he's back within
two. Two leaders make their way tonne the 18th. You can't help but
be reminded a bit of that final day at Troon last year. These two have
been trading blows out there on their third round. The beauty of
this is, we have another round to come. It's Spieth leading by two
from Matt Kuchar. Kuchar won the bronze in the Olympic games in Rio
said his heart was bursting with pride. I'm wondering if a Claret Jug
would surpass even that feeling. 300 yards down the left.
Perfectly right on to the corner of the doing leg.
Perhaps haven't seen the fireworks of some of the other players, but
Jordan Spieth, well this was some shot.
Even closer than his playing partner Matt Kuchar. That was the first
birdie of the day for Jordan Spieth. Plodding along after that. In the
par-3, seventh, birdie number two. Didn't have to wait too long for his
next on the eighth. Once again, the putting touch, perfect.
Not Beautifully from left-to-right. To the heart of the putting surface.
From there to there. To there. The only birdie at the back nine. Enough
to keep him clear of the field. Poulter. It's been that kind of day
for Poulter. Too many bogeys today. Sprinkling of birdies today. Koepka
slips back alongside Austin Connelly, 5-under, five behind
Spieth. Ground to make up on the final day of the Open.
Get it going straight between the two bunkers, that's the thing to do.
Don't try and loft it, keep it under the height of the clock, if you can.
Spieth. Birdie putt at the 18th. Our Championship leader tickles it down
the hill and what do you know? ! What a way to finish. 65 shots, 31,
43. Beautiful second shot. Wasn't to be.
Spieth three shots ahead. That birdie on the 18th for Spieth gives
him a three-shot lead as he head towards the final day of this year's
Open Championship. Matt Kuchar on 8-under, the closest chaser and,
look at Austin Connelly, 5-under on his open debut. A nice round from
Ross Fisher today. 4-under, 66, 2-under alongside Rory McIlroy,
1-under for his round today. A little further down, Ian Poulter,
who'll be disappointed not to have taken advantage of his late start.
It's all about Jordan Spieth. 11-under. Let us hear from him with
Rishi. 65, how good was that for the
penultimate day of the Open? Really good given the position that we were
in. It's just, you saw some 65s, 63 or 62 today, right, that was I
thought somewhat predicted just given softer greens and wins that
had died down. Not a 62 but lower scores. I thought it's tough to do
when you're in the lead when you know there'll be lower scores
because you're not protecting par, you need to make birdies. A lead
going into the final day of a major is nothing new for you, but what do
you do, do you defend it or just play golf? We set a goal, we see
what the conditions are in the morning, we see what is forecast.
Same thing we did in round two. Knowing that 65 is not realistic
tomorrow, that par is going to be a better score, therefore we change
the game plan. Thank you very much for coming that tuck to us -- that
talk to us and good luck tomorrow. Thank you very much.
You have picked out one moment today Ken that you feel was particularly
pivotal to the lead he has going into the final day? . Yes, there
were a lot of pivotal moments but the 18th was massive. He was two
shots behind Spieth and he's not sure if it will sneak past. It's
pinpoint accurate. He controlled the way the ball was running out. Sets
himself six or seven feet from a birdie. Spieth's hit the most
perfect tee shot over the cross bunker and he's left this. When he
strikes it, he thinks, well just watch. He's pushed it, the wind's
taken it a fraction and you think, that's going to finish in the
bunker. Back spin and Leighs himself 20 feet away. If one holes and one
misses, there could be one stroke in it. If Spieth misses and Kuchar
holes. But it's the other way around. Spieth holes this critical
putt. What looked like might be a bogey ends up as a birdie, he
finishes 11-under, puts pressure on Matt Kuchar and he's thinking, I
must hole this. He has a good look at it and I don't know how it stays
out but it does. Left edge. Just tipped past the edge. He can't
believe it. Suddenly there's a three stroke lead and an enormous
difference and Spieth is now the third player of six players six
strokes behind him. It will be tricky to make that up so it's in
his hands. The last nine times Jordan Spieth has led, he's won
eight, so I don't know what the guys are thinking that are trying to
chase him down. Let us speak to the man leading the chase. Here is Matt
Kuchar with Rishi. You have had top ten finishes so
far, what is the approach that you have in your mind as you go into the
final day? It's pretty simple. Just take the course for what it gives
you, step up, if you hit on the fairway, you can be aggressive, if
you miss it, you have to figure out what is the best situation. In golf
you have to be so adaptable. You face so many different is situations
that you make the most of what you can and, I've been playing some good
golf and I'm hoping to find a lot of fairways and hoping to be a little
more aggressive. We wish you the best of luck on Sunday. Thank you. A
shame he had that double bogey and the putts on 18. Yes; the 16th was a
real blow to him. He was going along nicely, got to 9-under with a par-5,
so he's thinking might be finished ten or 11 and he's taken a double
bogey. That was hard to come back from. That was the moment it swung
towards Spieth as well. Somebody else who started very well was Rory
McIlroy and there were high hopes around Birkdale that he'd be clawing
the difference back but it just fizzled out a little for him. He was
done by one hole too. He had a beautiful frontline and seemed to be
cruising. He drew his eye and found one of the bunkers, got into an
awkward spot then he was in trouble. He took a double bogey on what was a
relatively easy hole for him. So misjudgment off the tee or slightly,
well a big mistake, bunker shot out. The fine margins are difficult.
Branden Grace, we witnessed a piece of history there from him today.
Finally a 62 in a men's major. Unbelievable. I never thought it
would happen but it was the perfect day, soft green, lovely putting
surfaces, not much breeze about. That is exceptional. The lowest ever
score in a major Championship. Incredible stuff. We are all set for
another big day tomorrow. We'll have all the highlights again tomorrow
night, bean 2 at 8 o'clock for the final day of this year's Open
Championship. BBC Five Live is out on the course with commentary from
1. 30 and the BBC Sport website will have live text commentary and
in-play videos. Tomorrow as well, the beginning of the world swimming
Championships on BBC Two from Budapest.
He turns 24 next week and he's staring down the barrel of a third
major Championship. The big question ahead of the final day here at Royal
Birkdale is, can anyone catch Jordan Spieth?
Eilidh Barbour presents highlights from the third round of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
Defending champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden moved to the top of the leaderboard at this stage of last year's Open, carding a three-under-par 68 at Royal Troon to go a shot clear of American Phil Mickelson.
Commentary by Peter Allis, Ken Brown and Andrew Cotter.