British Open Field 2013: Golfers to Watch on Day 3
The Open Championship churned up a lot of drama through two rounds, setting up an exciting Saturday at Murifield Links. Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood are within striking distance, a fan favorite sits in first place and there's a teenager in the mix near the top of the leaderboard.
The 142nd British Open hits its home stretch with plenty of storylines to keep tabs on. From favorites to upstarts, here's a look at players to keep an eye on when action resumes Saturday.
Tee Time: 9:20 a.m. EST (with Charl Schwartzel)
Why You Need to Watch: Adam Scott, currently sitting at one-over, is still in search of redemption. He collapsed at the 2012 British Open.
After leading late on Sunday, he bogeyed the final four holes to cough up first place and allow Ernie Els to swoop in for the Claret Jug.
What Makes Saturday a Success: Scott must shoot lower than 70 if he hopes to be in the mix for a top-three spot entering Sunday. That means it's time to clean up the short-range game.
Prediction: Scott falls back to the pack by racking up a score in the 72-74 range. The good news is, he won't have a chance to surrender a late advantage again this time around.
Tee Time: 9:50 a.m. (with Zach Johnson)
Why You Need to Watch: A first-round 67 vaulted Cabrera-Bello to the top Thursday, but it was balanced out by a second-round 74. If he can recapture some of that Thursday magic, he can climb back up the board, where he is currently tied for sixth.
What Makes Saturday a Success: The 29-year-old has never finished better than 47th at a major tournament (2010 U.S. Open). Cabrera-Bello must keep things moving forward and avoid the pitfalls that have plagued him in the past.
Prediction: Cabrera-Bello continues to look less like the man who came out on fire and stumbles badly at times. He tumbles down the standings.
Tee Time: 9:20 a.m. (with Adam Scott)
Why You Need to Watch: Schwartzel struggled mightily during a frustrating first round, which featured s caught-on-camera club toss. He rebounded nicely Friday, tying for the day's top score with a 68.
What Makes Saturday a Success: Schwartzel must keep the ball rolling after a strong Saturday. The 2011 Masters champion is a routine contender and needs another sub-70 effort to set himself up for Sunday.
Prediction: Schwartzel continues to hit fairways and play smartly. The results move him within realistic striking distance of the lead.
Tee Time: 10:10 a.m. (with Tiger Woods)
Why You Need to Watch: Lee Westwood tied for the best score on Friday with a 68. He is locked in a second-place stalemate.
The former top-ranked player on the planet is still without a major title. Years of contention have left him on the doorstep, so this may just be another tease.
What Makes Saturday a Success: Westwood must shoot a better score than his opening-round 72. Westwood will need to execute on the tricky greens of Muirfield in order to do that.
Prediction: He strings together a successful Saturday to remain near the top of the leaderboard. Westwood is a gamer and he hangs in tough as others falter in Round 3.
Tee Time: 10:20 a.m. (with Miguel Jimenez)
Why You Need to Watch: Henrik Stenson is once again in contention at the Open Championship. He finished third at the British Open in 2008 and 2010.
Stenson is tied for second place at two-under through 36 holes. The Swede is the only competitor with consecutive subpar performances at Muirfield this year.
What Makes Saturday a Success: Consecutive one-under-par efforts have put him in a strong position. Another duplicate performance would ensure that he is among leaders entering Sunday.
Prediction: Stenson suffers through some mistakes that didn't surface on Thursday and Friday. He loses a few strokes and falls to the fringe of title contention.
Tee Time: 9:30 a.m. (with Darren Clarke)
Why You Need to Watch: The 19-yesr-old is on quite a roll. Jordan Spieth became the youngest PGA Tour winner since 1931 when he won the John Deere Classic last Sunday.
Even after shooting a 74 on Friday, Spieth sits just four shots back of the lead. Quite an achievement for a youngster who deserves attention simply for surviving the cut.
What Makes Saturday a Success: It will be a success as soon as he steps onto the course for his 37th hole. That's an amazing moment for a teenager. If he can stay within five to six shots of the lead, chalk it up as a home run.
Prediction: Spieth continues to turn heads with another mature performance. He remains steadfast while veterans crumble around him.
Tee Time: 10:20 a.m. (with Henrik Stenson)
Why You Need to Watch: Miguel Jimenez shot for par Friday to finish the first half of tournament action in sole possession of first place. The 49-year-old fan favorite shot a first-round 68 and currently sits at three-under.
He is also in uncharted territory.
This is the first time in his career that Jimenez leads a major championship through 36 holes.
What Makes Saturday a Success: An immensely successful tournament would continue if Jimenez can hang on and continue to chart a safe route through a tough course. He can afford to lose a stroke or two but must avoid a disastrous day.
Prediction: Jimenez falls back to earth and deals with struggles. He remains among the leaders but loses his grip on first place.
Tee Time: 10:10 a.m. (with Lee Westwood)
Why You Need to Watch: The PGA and its television sponsors can always breathe a little easier when Tiger Woods in title contention entering the second half of a major championship. Sitting at two-under, that's currently the case at Muirfield.
Woods followed a first-round 69 with a 71 on Friday, and eyes will certainly be on the legendary golfer as he aims for his first major title since 2008. He has been consistent on drives, hitting 12 of 18 greens on both days.
After sinking a putt for birdie on the final hole, Woods unleashed one of his trademark fist pumps. Perhaps it's a sign of good things to come for the globe's top-ranked golfer.
"I'm in a good spot," Woods told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi after the second round.
What Makes Saturday a Success: When Muirfield last hosted the Open Championship in 2002, Woods shot a third-round 81 in wet and windy conditions. It remains his career-worst round in major competition.
Woods will look to overcome that career blemish on a course that has given so many star players problems. As long as he doesn't lose any strokes, Tiger gives himself a great shot.
Prediction: Woods stays at even keel and puts up another consistent performance. When he emerges from the clubhouse wearing red Sunday morning, an elusive major title will be within reach.