ADAM SCOTT will go into the final round of the 2012 British Open carrying a four stroke lead and the hopes of Australia’s golfers.
The 32 year old shot a fighting 2-under 68 in the third round of the iconic event to move to 11-under.
He is four in front of his final round playing partner Graeme McDowell (67), and the man he overtook in the third round, Brandt Snedeker (73).
Fourteen time Major winner Tiger Woods sits ominously at 6-under after managing only an even par round.
”It’s fun just to get in this position,” an excited Scott said after a masterfully controlled performance on the treacherous Royal Lytham and St Annes layout.
”It’s what I’ve been practising for. We’ll see if the practice pays off or not. I don’t know what to expect tomorrow, I’ve not really teed off the last group of the Open before. I’m sure I’m going to be nervous, but it’s good nerves and I’m excited. I’m playing well.”
Scott is attempting to become the first Australian to win the British Open since Greg Norman at Royal St Georges in 1993, and the fifth overall. Peter Thomson won one of his five titles at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 1958. An Australian hasn’t won a Major since Geoff Ogilvy (73, 3-over) took the US Open in 2006.
The Queenslander is well aware a four stroke lead in the final day of a Major can evaporate in an instant, particularly on a course with as much potential venom as Royal Lytham.
The first three days have been played in largely benign conditions with little wind. Still, only 17 of the original 156 starters remain under par.
With wind predicted for the final day, punishing rough and 206 pot bunkers, many still waterlogged, anything could happen on the final day.
”A four shot lead doesn’t seem to be very much this year on any golf tournament that I’ve watched,” said Scott. ”That doesn’t mean a lot. The good part is if I play a solid round of golf tomorrow, it will be very hard for the others to beat me, and that’s all I’m thinking about.”
Scott will tee off at 11.30pm AEST in an event, sadly for many in the Australian golfing public, only televised in Australia on Fox Sports.
For those who don’t have pay television but so have good internet connections, people talk about places like sportlemon.tv
Latest news from the London Met Office: Dry and mostly sunny with a gentle westerly breeze. Cloudier and windier on Sunday but still feeling warm.
Sunday Afternoon: Dry with bright or sunny spells and variable amounts of cloud. Wind: South to southwest 10 to 15mph increasing 15 to 20 gusts 25 to 30mph.2012 British Open Leaderboard