Day 4 from Muirfield is underway, and we’ll soon be crowning an Open champion.
Lee Westwood enters Sunday with a two-shot lead over Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods. The rest of the field isn’t far back either, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see an under-the-radar golfer make a late run for the major championship.
Which golfer will be hoisting the Claret Jug in the next few hours?
Where: Muirfield, Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland
When: Sunday, July 21
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Read-Time Leaderboard Updates: The Open
The Open Championship Live Leaderboard
Stars to Watch on Sunday
*Fourth-round scorecards can be found via the live leaderboard.
Lee Westwood has yet to conquer a major championship, but will have a prime opportunity to win his first on Sunday. Westwood has finished in the top 10 at a major 15 times throughout his career and has been the runner-up twice. Of those two second-place finishes, one came at the 2010 British Open.
He hasn’t had much success at the Open Championship the last two years, though. In 2011, he didn’t even get to play the weekend, and then last year he finished tied for 45th. He’s played well enough this week where as long as he doesn’t completely fall apart on Sunday, he should be able to hang on for the title.
While Westwood does hold the top spot entering the fourth round, he needs to focus on finishing strong at Muirfield. He may be three-under for the tournament, but most of his success has come on the front nine. On the back nine, through three rounds, he’s two-over. He can’t afford a late-round collapse.
Tiger Woods is on the brink of winning his 15th career major tournament. He has to play a good round of golf if he’s going to finish atop the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon. While he’s currently down two strokes, it’s not impossible for Woods to outplay Westwood and the rest of the field to claim the Claret Jug.
Woods has won the Open Championship three times in his career, but he hasn’t won the major since 2006. Last year, he tied for third, which is also the last time since his 2006 victory that he finished in the top 10. It seems very likely that another top-10 finish is in the works for the top-ranked golfer in the world.
The only problem for Tiger is that he’s gotten worse as time goes on this week instead of the opposite. Woods has posted a higher score each day and needs to avoid that on Sunday. If he shoots 70 or worse on Day 4, it seems unlikely that No. 15 is going to be won at Muirfield. He needs to shoot in the 60s for a chance.
Hunter Mahan is seeking his first career major victory. The closest he’s ever gotten was just a little while ago at the U.S. Open, where he finished tied for fourth. He only has one top-10 finish at the Open Championship, and that was back in 2007. Since, he’s been cut three times and finished outside the top 15 twice.
In order for Mahan to claim the Claret Jug on Sunday, he’s going to have to play like he did on Saturday. He shot a three-under 68 after birdieing five holes and bogeying just two. Arguably his biggest accomplishment was shooting par on the 16th hole, which he had bogeyed on Thursday and double bogeyed on Friday.
Making birdies has really aided Mahan through this tournament, and he’ll need to make a few more on Sunday if he’s going to win. He’s currently tied for fourth in most birdies with 13. If Mahan can make around four or five more while limiting his bogeys, there’s no question that he could be the champion.