On a perfect day to play golf and when very good scores were expected, only 24 players of the 75 classified dropped par on the field. Among them, South African Louis Oosthuizen made 69 (-1) in a motley round. He got to -13, after a great birdie on hole 9. But from there he lost consistency. Two bogeys (11 and 13) and a bogey-flavored pair on par 5 of the 14th hole tied it with Morikawa and Spieth at -11. The hinge of his turn was on the 15th hole, when he faced a 4-meter putt for par. A bogey there would have been very bad. But the meek Louis poked it through the center as if it were a mere formality. To remove the doubts he made a great birdie on par 3 on the 16th hole and finished again in the lead, as he did on Thursday (64) and Friday (65).
The best lap was that of the Scotsman Robert Macintyre with 65 strokes (-5). Another three 66 (-4), those of Kokrak, Streelman and Corey Conners, who ended up coming very close to being fourth, four strokes behind the pointer. There was nothing better than that. It is true that the flag positions were complicated in general, but since the third round in tournaments is known as the “moving day”, that is, the day in which the players with chances try to get closer to the leaders, the scores disappointed in general.
The young rising star, Collin Morikawa, started weak with two bogeys (2 and 5), but with birdies on holes 7 and 8 he settled the first leg. On the return he was once again that extraordinary dart thrower with his irons and with two birdies (13 and 14) he was second with -11, one behind Oosthuizen. In conclusion, none of those at the top of the board could make a big difference.
The one who was best shaping up for it was Jordan Spieth, who after a great birdie on the 10th hole got -4 on the day and -12 on the tournament. But he ended up diluted in a sea of doubts with two bogeys in the final two holes. The first, inexplicable, was on hole 17, when from the center of the fairway less than 100 yards he missed the green for ambitious. And the worst of the two, the one on 18, did it by missing a two-foot putt, which was awful. The question that everyone must be asking is: how is it possible that a professional who accumulates 12 victories and three majors can miss a putt that any amateur would hole through the center of the hole? The answer to that question will have to be sought in the deep mysteries of the human mind. Spieth was seldom seen with such a grim face. Not even at the 2016 Masters, after throwing two balls into the water on the 12th hole and scoring a quadruple bogey (7), which would end up costing him the tournament. But that’s how golf is. Many say the strongest head on the PGA Tour is this talented Texan. This Sunday you will have the best opportunity to prove it.
But for disappointing laps, none better than World Ranking No. 1 Dustin Johnson. The winner of the US Open in 2016 and the Masters in 2019 started the round at -7 just 4 strokes behind. In ideal conditions to display his best game, he finished making 73 shots (+3) with five bogeys and only two birdies. Thus it was relegated to position 18, already without chances of aspiring to the title.
Jon Rahm, everyone’s favorite to start, hit 68 shots (-2) and finished tied for 6th at -7. Not bad, but far from what he expected. It will be necessary to see if this Sunday he can, with a historic return, fight for the top.
Argentine Emiliano Grillo, the best classified in the Latin American squad, excited everyone when, at the beginning of his round, he nailed a great birdie on hole 2. But immediately the court hit him on par 3 of the hole 3 when he scored a painful triple bogey. That was too much for Grillo and his body language was unmistakable. However, he kept fighting. He made a birdie on hole 6 and ended up making 72 shots (+2) and with -4 tied for 18th place. Now far from fighting for the championship and the lost illusion of the entire region, he will only have chances to reach a valuable “top ten” in a Major, which would be the best placement of his career thus far. It was not possible to have the words of Grillo, who withdrew quickly after handing over his card, without attending to the press.
Another who fought against disappointment was Mexican Abraham Ancer, who started his return with a triple bogey on par 4 of hole 1. From there he was able to recover and finished with 71 strokes (+1). With a total of +1, Ancer ties for 53rd place.
The Chilean Joaquín Niemann was the one who suffered the most in the third round. Four bogeys and a double bogey speak for themselves. On the return he achieved an eagle on par 5 of the 14th hole and a final birdie as consolation on the 18th hole. He made 73 strokes (+3) and with +2 he was in 58th place.
The Royal St George’s court is one of the most demanding in the Open rotation. From the air it looks like a great desert wasteland attached to the sea. Already on earth and traveling it has the magic of links in its best version. The deep pot bunkers, strewn across the fairways and around the greens, are one of his few defenses and accidents. Finally, a jewel of British golf that from this Sunday will be the scene of the last round of the 149th edition of the oldest golf tournament in the world, The Open Championship.