British Open Leaderboard 2013: Expert Reaction to Day 3 Results

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2013

GULLANE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20:  Lee Westwood of England tees off on the 12th hole during the third round of the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield on July 20, 2013 in Gullane, Scotland.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Day of the 2013 British Open gave the experts plenty of action to react to. 

Miguel Angel Jimenez experienced a free-fall down the leaderboard, Tiger Woods stayed right in contention but couldn't seize the lead, and Lee Westwood rode another consistent round to become the 54-hole leader. 

Here's a look at how they all stack up through the first three rounds at Muirfield.

It didn't take an expert to see that the course has taken its toll on the competitors. Kyle Porter of CBS predicts that the winner will barely break par:

Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel also chipped into the conversation, noting that anyone who gets into a rhythm on the green Sunday will have a good shot at walking away with the Claret Jug:

No one exemplified how fast the course can turn on you faster than Jimenez. After entering Day 3 as the tournament's leader, he fell all the way out of the top 10 thanks to six bogeys and a double. It didn't go unnoticed. 

Sobel was one of the many to point out Jimenez's weekend collapse:

This photo from Golf Digest's Instagram account summed up his day pretty well. 

As disappointing as Jimenez's fall was, the experts had plenty to say about Lee Westwood's emergence as The Open leader. Specifically, his rocky past in majors. His pursuit to win his first major will be one of Sunday's biggest storylines. 

Porter noted that Westwood was the only player among the major contenders to break par on the round:

Westwood has been oh-so-close to winning majors before. As Sobel notes, he has a top-three finish in all four majors with no wins:

However, he does offer hope for the 40-year-old. His clutch putting through three rounds is an indication that this might just be the year Westwood flips the script:

Shane Bacon of Yahoo! Sports made a similar observation:

Of course Tiger's third round was a heavy topic of conversation among analysts. Looking to end his five-year major drought, Woods teed off at Muirfield looking to set himself up for a Sunday of contention. 

He did it, shooting a 72 to go to one-under for the tournament and just two shots back from Westwood. However, history says that it won't be enough. As Numbers Never Lie tweeted out, none of his majors have come without at least a share of the lead after three days:

As Dan Jenkins of Golf Digest points out, a win for Tiger would have historic ramifications:

Even with history against him, Woods' position of T-2 on the leaderboard is one of his better opportunities to win a major in the last five years, per Justin Ray of ESPN:

With Westwood and Woods both looking to alter the way they are perceived, we're in for an unpredictable Sunday at Muirfield. Time will tell if either can overcome his past struggles and lift the Claret Jug or if we'll someone else emerge from the pack.