An Irish amateur Paul Dunne shares the lead at The Open Championship with Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day at the end of round three on Sunday, at a calm St. Andrews.
Paul Dunne / Getty Images
Paul Dunne shot a bogey free third round -6 under par 66, to share the clubhouse lead at -12 under par for the tournament. Louis and Jason both had -5 under par 65’s to join Paul at the top of a congested The Open Championship leaderboard.
Paul is the first amateur since the legendary Bobby Jones to lead The Open after 54 holes, Bobby went on to lift the Claret Jug at St Andrews in 1927.
Louis played alongside Paul, and this to say of the young mans talent;
“He’s played unbelievable golf, that second shot on 17 was one of the best I’ve seen.”
“I think he made me so nervous on my second shot because I was going a completely different route, low, running up there, and I tugged it a little bit to the left. But it was an amazing shot. He deserved to birdie that.”
Paul was asked if he could win The Open, he replied;
“I don’t see why not. I’m well capable of shooting the scores that I need to win if everyone else doesn’t play their best.”
“Whether it happens or not, I can’t really control. I can just go out and try to play my game and see where it leaves me at the end of the day. Hopefully I play great again and post a good number.”
“It’s surreal I’m leading The Open, but I can easily believe that I shot the three scores that I shot.”
“If we were playing an amateur event here, I wouldn’t be too surprised by the scores I shot. It’s just lucky that it happens to be in the biggest event in the world.”
“Hopefully I can do it again tomorrow, but whether I do or not, you know, I’ll survive either way.”
In fourth place on his own is Masters Tournament and US Open Champion Jordan Spieth, who brought his grand slam dream back to life with a third round -6 under par 66, which has given him a tournament total of -11 under par, and just one shot back going into the final round tomorrow. History beckons.
Jordan insists he is not really thinking about it;
“It hasn’t come up in my head while I’ve been playing yet.”
“I can’t speak for tomorrow given it’s the last round and if I have a chance coming down the stretch, if it creeps in, I’ll embrace it. I’ll embrace the opportunity that presents itself.”
“I don’t look at it as a negative thing, I look at it almost as an advantage.”
“Why should it add more pressure in a negative way? If it adds more pressure, it just makes me feel like this is something that’s a little more special, let’s go ahead and get the job done.”
“I know it’s easier said than done, but when you say added pressure, most people associate that with negativity or something that can hinder what’s comfortable.”
“For me, I think it could be advantageous. You hit the ball a little bit further, you can really get your mind around a more specific target and block out other things.”
Fifth position belongs to another Irishman, the three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington, he posted a bogey free third round -7 under par 65, to reach -10 under par in the competition, and definitely has given himself a chance of grabbing another Major title. He joked with the media about this not being the final round;
“I always wanted to shoot 65 on Sunday at an Open. Unfortunately there’s another round to go.”
There are no less than nine players tied at -9 under par, in sixth place for the tournament; Australians Marc Leishman and Adam Scott, another amateur, American Jordan Niebrugge, Sergio Garcia from Spain, Justin Rose and Danny Willett from England, South African Retief Goosen, and two more Americans, Robert Streb and Zach Johnson.
Marc shot the low round of the day, a -8 under par 64, to put him in position to win his first Major.
Retief, the two-time US Open champion, was happy with his position;
“Three, four shots off the lead going into tomorrow is a good place to be.”
“I’m feeling great. I have no back pain. I’d rather play bad golf and have no back pain than good golf and back pain and not being able to sleep or anything else.”
“I’ve had a good run in my career, but it’s nice to be up there and hopefully have a good day tomorrow, see where we end up.”
Longtime leader Dustin Johnson, who battled through the bad weather, collapsed in the calm conditions of the third round, carding +3 over par, and dropping to -7 under par for the tournament, and tied in 18th place, with his chances of picking up The Open Championship title in tatters.