British Open 2012: Who Made the Biggest Moves on Moving Day?
Saturday is moving day in a professional golf tournament.
Some players took advantage of the lack of wind and rain plus receptive greens to move up the leader board, while others got passed over.
Bubba Watson, Ernie Els, Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Adam Scott definitely moved up.
Tiger Woods looked like he was treading water, but he is still in sight of the leader.
Six of the top-10 are inside the top-30 in the OWGR and five are in the top-15.
Royal Lytham always seems to sort out the best golfers in the world.
I don't think we can expect these experienced players to fold under the pressure tomorrow.
It will take a historic charge to overtake Adam Scott, unless he starts making bogeys.
Bubba Watson worked his magic around Royal Lytham, is in 10th place and is nine shots behind the leader, Adam Scott, heading into the last round.
Bubba had three birdies and a bogey on the front nine for a 32.
He made three birdies on his first four holes on the back side and then ran into a bit of bother.
Watson made bogey at No. 14 and followed that with a double-bogey at No. 15.
He was able to par out from there and posted a two-under par 68.
The soft conditions and light winds have allowed Bubba to work his high cuts and draws around and over the bunkers.
With the number of very good players ahead of him, it will take a miracle for him to get his second major title of the year.
Thomas Aiken shot a one-over par 71 and moved down the leader board on Saturday.
Still, he is in a good spot for a relatively unknown 100/1 shot at the beginning of the week.
A high finish here this week would be very big indeed for Aiken.
He is No. 112 on the Race to Dubai and No. 136 on the OWGR.
Both positions are sure to improve if he can finish top ten at the Open.
Bill Haas shot a 68 and moved to T-8 at the Open Championship.
Haas is the FedEx Cup champion from last year and is looking to make a statement in a major championship.
He turned the front side in even par with one bogey and one birdie to go with seven pars.
He played the back side bogey free and made birdies at No. 13 and No. 16 to post 34-34=68.
He is eight shots back with some very big names ahead of him.
May be a case of too far to go for a win this year at the Open.
Thorbjorn Olesen acquitted himself quite nicely on Saturday.
The 22-year-old was paired with Tiger Woods and matched him shot for shot until an untimely double-bogey on No. 14 and a bogey on No. 18 spoiled his even par round.
Olesen seemed to revel in the circus that surrounds Tiger and did not appear to be intimidated in any way.
This may bode well going forward for the youngster.
He may be one of the kids to watch in the future.
Ernie Els is trying to turn back the clock and add one more major title to his career stats.
He already has two U. S. Open trophies and a Claret Jug at home on the mantle.
Ernie found himself outside looking in at the Masters in 2012. It was the first major championship that he had missed in over 18 years.
His efforts to attempt to qualify for the Masters early in the year are paying off now with good performances.
Ernie, currently T-5 and six shots back of the leader, probably will not win this week, but it is sure good to see him playing at a world class level again.
Zach Johnson shot a very tidy four-under par 66 on Saturday and moved to T-5 heading into Sunday.
He is coming off a win last week at the John Deere Classic.
Johnson fired six birdies and two bogeys to earn his 68.
He will start six shots behind the leader Adam Scott.
That is a lot of ground to make up, but another 66 may just get him pretty close.
While some players were making a move, Tiger Woods was treading water on Saturday.
He started the day four shots behind 36-hole leader Brandt Snedeker and ended the day five shots behind Adam Scott.
He started out with bogeys at No. 1 and No. 3 before finishing the front side with birdies at No. 6, 7 and 9 for a one-under par 33.
His conservative play from the tee box produced eight pars and one bogey on the back nine.
Tiger might have to abandon the fairway woods and irons from the tee on Sunday and play more aggressive.
He will also need some help from Adam Scott, Graeme McDowell and Brandt Snedeker if he wants to win his 15th major title.
Brandt Snedeker started the day at the Open Championship with a one-shot lead and carded a three-over par 73.
He finds himself T-2 and four shots back of the leader, Adam Scott.
Brandt did not make a bogey through the first 36 holes, but had six bogeys in his round on Saturday.
At one point he made five bogeys in a seven hole stretch.
He finished on a high note, however, with birdies at No. 16 and No. 18.
If Snedeker can find the putting touch that he had through the first two days he may just put some pressure on Adam Scott in the final round.
Beware of golfers from Northern Ireland, they have a way of finding the winners circle at major championships.
It must be the Guinness that they consume.
Graeme McDowell won the 2010 U. S. Open at Pebble Beach, America's idea of a links style course.
He is just one of four sons of Ireland that have won six majors over the past five-plus years.
GMac has made about five miles of putts this week. He had five birdies and two bogeys in his three-under par 67 on Saturday.
If he can keep finding fairways and rolling his rock, he might just join his Irish buddies Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke with his own Claret Jug to pour the Golden Ale.
Adam Scott has been the best player in golf for the last six rounds in major championships.
After a first-round 76 at Olympic Club in the U. S. Open, Scott fired three consecutive 70's and finished T-15.
He also picked up a third place finish at the AT&T National at Congressional between majors.
He has come out of the gate strong at Royal Lytham, and finds himself leading by four shots heading into the final round on Sunday.
Scott has always had a ton of talent and was expected to contend for majors titles much earlier in his career.
Hiring Steve Williams last year, after his split with Tiger Woods, yielded a win at the WGC-Bridgestone last summer, and he has been playing well in 2012.
Every golfer hits a rough spot and begins to second guess decisions during a stressful round.
Stevie has been here many times before and can be a big help to Adam tomorrow.
With a four-shot lead and playing the best golf in the field, it appears that he will be hard to beat tomorrow.
Is there a Claret Jug in Adam Scott's near future?