Street. Andrews, Scotland – The islands of Great Britain and Ireland focus on the final round of the 150th British Open, as their favorite son Rory McIlroy looks to end an eight-year drought.
No matter what the 33-year-old pays off on Sunday, he can’t play defense, which brings together a group of sideline contenders with five major titles between them.
Matt Fitzpatrick, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth view Sunday as an even if long shot chance for another major title.
More: Round 4 Tee Times
Scott, who turned 42 on Saturday, is running his 86th championship. In 85 of them, he’s left without a trophy, including the 2012 crash at Royal Lytham and St. Annes as Ernie Els hit the green in training after his last round and moved from behind, to tie, to win his second Claret Jug, without hitting a single shot.
The Australian would win the Masters title the following year, but the green jacket is all Scott had to show for more than two decades of grand slam competition.
It’s possible Paul Lowery could win a playoff after coming back from 10 shots at Carnoustie in 1999, but that’s unlikely.
With Scott sitting at 9 under, those seven shots between him and leaders Victor Hovland and McIlroy at 16 under the age of majority should look great.
“I need to get out of my own way as much as possible before going out tomorrow,” Scott said of a philosophy forged after 21 previous Open Championships. “If I could attack a couple of pins and have a little fun and try to shoot a 6 or 7 down somehow in the front nine and put myself in the mix with a nine.”
That’s the philosophy, and it’s really the only philosophy with McIlroy and four majors at the top of the leaderboard.
Spieth won that tournament in 2017 at Royal Birkdale and although he has less overall experience than Scott, with 38 starts, he has it with three main wins.
Going into the final round on Sunday, Spieth is in line with the philosophy suggested by Scott, put the pedal to the metal and hope you get out of the loop – the eighth to eleventh hole in the old pitch – with a glimmer of hope.
“I think for tomorrow I have no reason to try to get back in the top 10,” said Speth. “For me, it shoots it and I try to shoot a really low round. If I don’t execute it, I am not executed.”
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In the first three rounds, Speth had the philosophy of trying to shoot a 5 or 6 under the 18th tee, knowing he would have a good jumper or an outside eagle chance on the last hole.
“You can get it all in the first seven or eight holes, eight, nine, ten holes,” Speth said. “You can be from 7 to 10 if it’s relatively calm in these slots, but not by forcing it or trying to get there. It comes down passively.”
Apparently Spieth is abandoning that philosophy somewhat, as the passive will not work in the Scottish penalty shootout at the old court.
“Being eight, I’m going to need to finish my run and have some kind of crazy monsoon tomorrow to get a chance,” said Speth. “Even if I shot an 8, I still think I lost by more than three. I’m in a position where shooting 7, 8 less would have a really strong finish and I would gain a lot of momentum. There would be no giving up. It’s not like I’m 45.”
Fitzpatrick won his last major tournament, the US Open at The Country Club outside Boston, by laying out a clinic on how he systematically finished it.
On Sunday, he will need to be aggressive, something he was not required to do at the US Open, with his patience winning.
Fitzpatrick has the firepower needed, sitting at nine below zero, but he will have to play outside his comfort zone to get a chance on Sunday.
“Listen, I’ve never won a back seven, so there’s always a first,” Fitzpatrick said. “But I’m just thinking, looking at the golf course, how he plays in the afternoon, they should come back to me. It’s hard for me to do a real charge without someone else doing the same. I think that’s kind of the way the golf course plays.” “.
Of all the Open Championship courses, the old track seems to give the chaser the best chance of getting into the competition.
Meanwhile, the old stadium has 112 bunkers, strategically located, and enough humps and bumps to bring down any good shot offline and into trouble.
Luck is always part of winning a major tournament, and if one of the three finds some good luck, their job may be a little lighter on Sunday.
“It gives you a lot of chances, like an eagle’s, and you could have four or five eagle chances if things go your way,” Scott said of the benefits of the old track chaser. “I don’t know if it was done, but if you happen to make three eagles there, I think you’re doing very well, I think.”
To score, Shane Lowry made consecutive Eagles in the 9th and 10th holes, both 4 seconds, on Saturday.
> This is Rory McIlroy’s week. All that remains is to win the British Open.
> Scotty Scheffler, a quick learner on the old course, still has a chance
> Rory McIlroy, co-captain Victor Hovland, getting ready for Sunday’s head-to-head meeting at St Andrews
> What to watch in the final round at St. Andrews: Rory, closed holes and more birds
> Watch: Day 3 British Open recap, Rory tied for lead
> Tour 4 times tee
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