British Open Standings 2013: Fringe Contenders Who Must Impress in Round 3
For contenders lurking a few strokes behind the leader at Muirfield, Round 3 is the time to make a move up the leaderboard.
As Golf.com tweeted, the second round already saw scores steadily rise across the board. Shooting in the 60s was nearly an impossible feat.
Only 10 players currently under par at Muirfield. 68 (Westwood/Charl) has held as the low round of the day with only four rounds in the 60s.— Golf.com (@si_golf) July 19, 2013
With some of the players already well into their third round, here's a live look-in at how the leaderboard is currently shaping up.
While Miguel Angel Jimenez, Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood are among those that just need to survive the day with a solid round to stay alive in what has become a battle of attrition, there are a few contenders that are just a few strokes behind who could make their final push to the top.
After all, last year's champion, Ernie Els, rallied from seven shots off the lead heading into the weekend to hoist the Claret Jug, according to Justin Ray of ESPN. A remarkable comeback isn't out of the question for anyone within striking distance.
Lots of golf left: Ernie Els was 7 back entering weekend last year. There are currently 38 players at/within 7 of the lead. #TheOpen— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) July 19, 2013
Here are the players that need a great round today to set themselves up for a Sunday of contention.
After a strong T-2 finish at the U.S. Open, there was a strong possibility that Lefty could finally break his slump at The Open. The four-time major champion has never won The Open and has just two top-five finishes in the tournament.
His results thus far have been a mixed bag.
On one hand, he's still in contention. He finished off Day 2 at T-11 and just one stroke over par. Considering there were only nine players to end the first two days under par, that's more than enough to make him a threat going forward.
The problem is he could be scoring much better.
For instance, in one of the more Mickelson moments of his round, he three-putted from two feet away on No. 16, as Pat Forde tweeted.
Phil Mickelson just three-putted from two feet on 16. Mayhem.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) July 19, 2013
In just one lapse of concentration, Mickelson went from potentially ending his day at one-under and instead wound up two-over.
He'll need to buckle down in Day 3 if he's going to make a run this year.
After a strong start at Muirfield, Spieth immediately became one of the top stories at The Open. After all, watching the 19-year-old wonderkid win the Claret Jug would be an incredible feat.
Spieth fired a 69 on the first day to end up at two-under for the day. Unfortunately, he couldn't keep things going in the second round. He, like just about everyone on the course, struggled to end on a high note, as he went four-over par on the last four holes to go three-over on the day.
As Golf Digest notes, his rapid development has been incredible to watch.
About 19-year-old Jordan Spieth: "He's gone from a skinny college kid to a big dude with a pro power game." http://t.co/yUUY3IT9Je— Golf Digest (@GolfDigestMag) July 19, 2013
No one could really blame Spieth if he doesn't come through. He has plenty of time to emerge as a star. But he'll have to figure out his putter before the final day. He's averaging 1.86 putts per green thus far.
After following up his Masters victory with a T-45 finish at the U.S. Open, what Adam Scott would bring to The Open was a key question heading into the tournament.
As it turns out, that question is still very much in the air.
Scott is using his precision accuracy to stay in contention. He's hit 23 of 28 fairways through two rounds. However, the results haven't been eye-popping. He's one-over for the tournament, and one of the many that is T-11 on the leaderboard.
As difficult as carding scores in the 60s has been in the tournament, it's unlikely Scott will win with at least one of those rounds.
Better to score it on Day 3 than have the pressure of putting together a great round in Day 4.
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