IN A THIRD round of a 2015 British Open where players painted the St Andrews leaderboard red, Jason Day emerged as joint leader and a real chance of taking his first golf major.
The 27 year old Aussie golfer shot a 5-under 67 to share the lead with 2010 St Andrews champion Louis Oosthuizen (67)and, surprisingly, 22 year old Irish amateur Paul Dunne (66).
That trio were on 12-under with Jordan Spieth (66) a shot back at 11-under.
When play in the third round finally got underway on day four of the weather-delayed championship players found a soft course, little wind and mostly sunny conditions.
Round of the day (and week) went to Marc Leishman with an 8-under 64. He earlier finished as clubhouse leader on 9-under and was later joined on that mark by Adam Scott (70) with Steven Bowditch (69) also still in serious contention at 8-under.
Day has been a serial golf major performer with five top five finishes in the American tournaments but has never done better than 30 at a British links event.
“We haven’t had an Aussie win the Claret Jug since Mr Norman; it would be nice to put my name on the Jug. We’re just trying to chase that bit of immortality,” Day said after his round, and let’s hope his usual enthusiastic cockiness sees him through to the end.
Leishman has also had his major tournament moments, particularly with his T4 finish at the 2013 Masters and his T5 at the British Open last year.
Starting early in the morning, Leishman posted eight unanswered birdies through the first 15 and had a big chance of shooting a 62 and setting the lowest major score ever.
“Today the goal was to shoot a good round so I had a chance tomorrow. I probably wasn’t quite expecting to do what I did, but I really put myself in it,” said Leishman who by the 16th hole had an opportunity to record the lowest ever round in a Major.
“I gave myself some really good chances on the last three holes, it was disappointing not to go a couple better.”
“15, 16, 17, they’re not easy holes, especially where the pin is on 16 and 17 today. Thinking about making birdies instead of thinking about trying to hold on and make pars like you normally do on those holes was a pretty good mindset.”
Playing with Leishman, Marcus Fraser also put in an impressive showing, his 4-under 68 seeing him in a share of 33rd heading into tonight’s final round.
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