Monday 22 October 2018

Tough test awaits at Carnoustie as Open enters deciding day

Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele shared the lead heading into Sunday.

A course marshal looks down the first fairway at Carnoustie (Richard Sellers/PA)
A course marshal looks down the first fairway at Carnoustie (Richard Sellers/PA)

By Phil Casey, Press Association Sport Golf Correspondent

Carnoustie was set up to provide a tough test for the final round of the 147th Open Championship on Sunday.

Despite the wind being forecast to gust up to 25mph, the course was set to play to 7,447 yards, the longest all week and 45 yards longer than the supposed full yardage of 7,402.

Eleven of the pin positions were also located within five yards of the edge of the greens, including on the daunting 18th where the champion golfer of the year will be decided – either in regulation or via a four-hole play-off.

The good news for the chasing pack aiming to overhaul joint leaders Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele was that six of the seven Open winners at Carnoustie have come from off the pace, Ben Hogan the exception after sharing the 54-hole lead in 1953.

And the last two winners came from well back, Paul Lawrie starting the final round 10 shots behind in 1999 and Padraig Harrington being six off the lead in 2007, with both men eventually winning in a play-off.

Former champion Henrik Stenson and American Luke List had recorded the best scores from the early starters with matching rounds of 69, while South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen had birdied the first and second to jump into a tie for fifth on six under par.

Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen had also birdied the same holes to join the large group of players on five under which included 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood.

Press Association

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