British Open Day 3: Stenson turns in another strong round to take lead at Royal Troon

Day 3 at Royal Troon was nothing out of the ordinary for an Open Championship. The course itself played at a +2 average on the day, with only 13 of the players in the field carding a round under par. Two players who did shoot under par were the guys who have led the entire weekend: Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/Flickr
Photo Credit: Keith Allison/Flickr

Mickelson has been rock solid throughout the tournament, carding another round under par at -1 (70). Phil was fighting himself all day long, hitting only 57 percent of the fairways, and in correlation only hit 56 percent GIR (greens in regulation. It was a day of scrambling for Phil but come Sunday Morning, he’ll wake up Sunday one shot behind leader Henrik Stenson, who is looking for the first major victory of his career.

Stenson took the first tee box this morning with a one-shot deficit, and by the end of the day he had a one-stroke lead. Stenson followed up his second round 65 (-6) with a Saturday finish of 68. This would propel him past Mickelson, and into the overnight lead of the Open Championship. The win would be his first Major victory of his career.

A few notable rounds of the day were Bill Haas (-2), Andrew “Beef” Johnson (-1), and Steve Stricker (-3). Haas and Johnson will play in the second to last pairing Sunday, and Stricker will be paired with J.B. Holes (-4) in the third to last group.

Photo Credit: Austin McAfee/Flickr
Photo Credit: Austin McAfee/Flickr

It was a frustrating day for most players on the course, none more so than Rory McIlroy who on the par-5 16th,  threw his three-wood to the ground after his second shot, snapping the head right off. He would finish with a disappointing +2, leaving him even for the tournament.

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Realistically any one of the eight golfers sitting at -3 or better has a chance tomorrow. But in reality, The Claret Jug is Stenson or Mickelson’s for the taking. Now depending on the weather, or total collapse, there could be a different ending to the story.

Yet, seeing the way Stenson and Mickelson are hitting the ball compared to the rest of the field, it will take quite the miracle to wrestle the Jug away from either of them.

Forecast for Sunday:

High: 61 degrees Fahrenheit
Low: 53 degrees Fahrenheit
Rain percentage: 50
Overall: Partly cloudy with winds up to 15 miles per hour. The greatest chance for rain is early in the morning. The contending groups should see decent, though windy, conditions.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard – Ongoing R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Thru
1
Henrik Stenson
-3 -6 –3 -12 18
2
Phil Mickelson
-8 -2 –1 -11 18
3
Bill Haas
-3 -1 -2 -6 18
4
Andrew Johnston
-2 -2 -1 -5 18
5
J.B. Holmes
-1 -1 -2 -4 18
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