The Open: Round 3’s Best, Worst, Stats And Scores

The third round of the 146th Open is in the books, and once again, it’s two-time major champion Jordan Spieth (65) alone at the top the leaderboard at Royal Birkdale.

The 23-year-old Spieth is at 11-under-par following a third consecutive sub-70 round, and his second 65.

 
Two back, and alone in second at 8-under, is Matt Kuchar, who posted a third-round 4-under 66. U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, and 20-year-old Austin Connelly are tied for third at 5-under.

South Africa’s Branden Grace, who fired a tournament record 8-under 62 on Saturday, is tied with world No. 2 Hideki Matsuyama of Japan at 4-under par.

Before we head into Sunday’s final round, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst from Saturday at Birkdale.


Best Round

On a balmy Saturday at Royal Birkdale, Branden Grace became the first player in history to post a 62 in a major championship. Case closed.

 
Afterwards, Grace claimed he didn’t know about the record-setting score.

“Let’s get this out of the way: I didn’t know what was going on on 18. I promise you. It was a special day. It was nice to obviously start the day off with a birdie on the first, made a nice putt. It always gives you some momentum and some confidence heading into the round. And then I just played flawless golf,” said Grace .


Most Disappointing Round

Ian Poulter started his day in a tie for third place, and had the London tabloids buzzing. But the 41-year-old struggled for most of the day on a Birkdale course that was gettable – matching birdies with bogeys, and eventually settling at 1-over 71.

 
When asked what he can take away from the round, a livid Poulter replied, “Shit happens.”

He continued, “Not to make stupid mistakes. There was too many stupid mistakes. I made one bogey yesterday in all the treacherous conditions we had. I make five bogeys today. It’s not good enough. Simple as that. I’m pissed off. Don’t know what else to say.”

Runner-up: Rory McIlroy. The World No. 4 came out the gates blazing, with three birdies over his first five holes to get to 4-under. But Rory finished his final 12 holes at 2-over.


Best Dressed

Gotta go with the superstar leader himself, Jordan Spieth. A nice half-collar charcoal sweater to give off some cool vibes, with a splash of pink sneaking through for some contrast. Just a clean, classic look.

 


Best Comeback

Scott Hend started his round bogey-bogey and dropped into a tie for 70th at 7-over. But the 43-year-old Aussie made a valiant comeback, posting a bogey-free 7-under over his final 14 holes to finish the day at 5-under, and move all the way up to T18 at even-par. What a comeback!

 
Hend joked about the bad start after his round, “It’s golf, mate. The positive is I didn’t make a double bogey today. I made a double every other day. If you make two bogeys, it’s like making a double and I bounced back from that and just trying to play.”


Best Round By a No-Name

Austin Connelly won this award on Thursday, and if he keeps it up, he’ll no longer be eligible. The 20-year-old Canadian lit it up again at Royal Birkdale, posting his second 66 of the tournament.

 
The former Golf Canada National Team member will be paired in the second to last group on Sunday, alongside U.S. Open winner Brooks Koepka, as the two are tied for third at 5-under.


Most Popular Score

15 players in the field on Saturday shot even-par 70. 13 players posted 1-under 69s.


Least Popular Score

Only Branden Grace shot 8-under 62 on Saturday. In fact, only Grace has shot a 62 in the last 146 Opens.


Best Shot

Young Austin Connelly holes out for eagle on the second hole at Birkdale.


Stats

  • Fab Five?: Spieth will attempt to become the fifth player to win The Open with four rounds in the 60s: Greg Norman (1983), Nick Price (1994), Tiger Woods (2000), Henrik Stenson (2016).
  • The Percentages: In Open Championship history, the third-round leader/co-leader has held on for the win 65 times, most recently Henrik Stenson (2016).
  • Stat Leaders (Through 3 Rounds): Fairways (Brandon Stone: 28/42); Greens (Jason Dufner: 40/54); Putts (Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson: 75)
  • Toughest Hole: The par-3 12th hole played to a 3.182
  • Easiest Hole: The par-5 15th: 4.455
  • Bogey-free Rounds: Branden Grace (62), Dustin Johnson (64), Jordan Spieth (65), Shaun Norris (65), Jason Day (65), Jason Dufner (66), Rickie Fowler (67), Sergio Garcia (68), and Alex Noren (69).

Final Scores, Round Three

POSPLAYERTO PARR3
1Jordan Spieth-11-5
2Matt Kuchar-8-4
T3Austin Connelly-5-4
T3Brooks Koepka-5-2
T5Branden Grace-4-8
T5Hideki Matsuyama-4-4
T7Dustin Johnson-3-6
T7Henrik Stenson-3-5
T7Chan Kim-3-3
T7Rafael Cabrera Bello-3-3
T11Ross Fisher-2-4
T11Rory McIlroy-2-1
T11Richie Ramsay-2E
T11Ian Poulter-21
T15Rickie Fowler-1-3
T15Alex Noren-1-1
T15Richard Bland-1E
T18Shaun NorrisE-5
T18Scott HendE-5
T18Jason DayE-5
T18Jason DufnerE-4
T18Tony FinauE-3
T18Paul CaseyE-3
T18Andrew JohnstonE-3
T18Matthew FitzpatrickE-2
T18Sergio GarciaE-2
T18Joost LuitenEE
T18Jamie LovemarkEE
T29Tommy Fleetwood1-4
T29Marc Leishman1-4
T29David Drysdale1-4
T29Matthew Southgate1-3
T29Chris Wood1-2
T29Thongchai Jaidee1-2
T29Kevin Na1-2
T29Steve Stricker1-1
T29Haotong Li1-1
T29Ernie Els1E
T29Bubba Watson11
T40Thomas Pieters2-2
T40Zach Johnson21
T40Charley Hoffman22
T43Brandon Stone3-2
T43Alfie Plant3-1
T43Kyung-tae Kim3-1
T43Peter Uihlein3-1
T43Andrew Dodt3-1
T43Jon Rahm3E
T43Adam Scott3E
T43Yi Keun Chang31
T43Gary Woodland34
T52Justin Rose4-1
T52Young-han Song4-1
T52Lee Westwood4-1
T52Andy Sullivan4-1
T52Toby Tree4-1
T52James Hahn4E
T52Joseph Dean4E
T52Xander Schauffele4E
T52Daniel Berger4E
T52Martin Kaymer4E
T52Jimmy Walker4E
T52J.B. Holmes41
T52Soren Kjeldsen42
T52Laurie Canter42
T52Kent Bulle44
T67Michael Lorenzo-Vera5E
T67Webb Simpson5E
T67Charl Schwartzel51
T67Bernd Wiesberger51
T67Kevin Kisner54
T67Russell Henley55
T73Sean O'Hair61
T73Thorbjorn Olesen64
T75Aaron Baddeley72
T75Sung-hoon Kang76
77Danny Willett83
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Jeff Smith

Jeff is a Producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is producing a digital documentary on the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.



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