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The Open 2016 - Round 3 Reports - Scores

Henrik Stenson edges ahead

Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson delivered what everyone expects out of a major championship.

They matched birdies and improbable par saves. Momentum could change with any shot. The lead changed four times over four hours of golf at its highest level, played in the cold wind and occasional rain off the Irish Sea. All the British Open lacked Saturday was a winner.

Turns out this was only the preview to a duel at Royal Troon.

Stenson took the lead for the last time with another two-shot swing on an inward par 3, and he kept it with a nifty up-and-down on the 18th for par and a 3-under 68, the second straight day that no one had a better score.

That gave the 40-year-old Swede his first lead in a major, even if it was just one shot over someone who already has five majors and his name on the claret jug.

''There's only one thing that matters tomorrow,'' Stenson said. ''I know he's not going to back down, and I'm certainly going to try to not back down, either. So it should be an exciting afternoon. ... I've worked hard these first three days to put myself in this situation and I'm going to try my hardest tomorrow to finish the job.''

Links golf can deliver some strange finishes, though this had all the trappings of a two-man race on Sunday.

Stenson had his third straight round in the 60s - no one has ever won at Royal Troon with all four rounds in the 60s - and was at 12-under 201. He is trying to become only the eighth player dating to Old Tom Morris in 1861 to win his first major after turning 40.

Mickelson, winless since he lifted golf's oldest trophy at Muirfield three years ago, had a 70. His game was nowhere near as sharp as his opening-round 63 that tied a major championship record. Even so, he came up with the rights shots at the right time until Stenson passed him late in the afternoon.

''Some days it's easy and it looks pretty like the first couple,'' Mickelson said. ''Some days it's hard and it looks terrible, like it did today. But either way, I shot three rounds under par.''

He made a 25-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole for a two-shot lead. Stenson answered with a 5-iron to 6 feet for birdie on the next hole to tie for the lead when Mickelson three-putted, only his third bogey of the week.

Mickelson regained the lead with a pitch to 4 feet for birdie on the par-5 16th, only for the Swede to answer again, this time with an all-out 3-iron into the wind on the 220-yard 17th hole to 20 feet. Mickelson lost the lead by missing the green to the left and making bogey.

Everyone else felt like mere spectators.

Bill Haas, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour who is rarely heard from at majors, was solid with a 69 and alone in third. It's his highest position ever in a major, yet he was six shots off the lead. Another shot back was Andrew Johnston, the Englishman with a big belly and beard to match who goes by ''Beef.'' He broke par for the third straight day with a 70.

It was unlikely to matter.

This was all about Stenson and Mickelson, two powerful players with different styles and different credentials, mainly the number of majors - five for Mickelson, none for Stenson. Mickelson spoke earlier in the week about not having as much pressure knowing he already has won them.

Not since Davis Love III and Justin Leonard shared the lead and were seven shots clear of the field in the 1997 PGA Championship has the final round of a major took on the appearance of match play.

''I was happy enough to throw two good punches in there on the par 3s and pick up two shots on either one of them to come back out on top at the end of the third round,'' Stenson said. ''I've always been of the thought that it's better to be one ahead than one behind, because that means Phil's got to play better than I do.''

Mickelson finished three shots ahead of Stenson three years ago at Muirfield when Lefty closed with a 66 in one of the best final rounds of a major. He hasn't won another tournament since, and at age 46, it appeared time was running out.

A victory Sunday would give him six majors, same as Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino. He also would be the third-oldest major champion behind Julius Boros (48) and Morris, with whom Mickelson shares a birthday - June 16, albeit 149 years apart. The 1861 Open was played in September.

Stenson was on the verge of falling two shots behind until he holed a 40-foot par putt on the 10th. Two holes later, Mickelson was in danger of losing the lead when he pushed his 2-iron toward trouble and was fortunate the ball deflected off a piece of prickly gorse. He had just enough room to hammer it up the fairway, and then played a shot rarely seen in links golf - instead of running it up along the ground, he spun it back down a ridge to 6 feet for a key par.

''I got lucky that that ball didn't go into the gorse, even though I didn't have a back swing,'' Mickelson said. ''I still had a chance to advance it a little bit. I still hit a good shot to advance it down the fairway like I did, and found a way to get up and down.''

Now, they have one more round, this time with a claret jug at stake.

Phil Mickelson dreaming of another Open title

Phil Mickelson is still dreaming of becoming the oldest winner of the British Open in the modern era despite describing his third-round performance as "terrible", "awful" and "jumpy" on Saturday.

The 46-year-old American started the day at the top of the leaderboard with a one-stroke advantage over playing partner Henrik Stenson but ended it one behind the Swede after returning a one-under 70 for an 11-under aggregate of 202.

"The game of golf, it just comes and goes," Mickelson told reporters after another windswept day on the rugged links of Royal Troon. "Some days it's easy and it looks pretty... some days it's hard and it looks terrible.

"I was off today, I didn't have my best stuff. I was a little bit jumpy and my rhythm wasn't very good."

Mickelson, aiming to become the oldest Open champion since Tom Morris senior won at the age of 46 in 1867, illustrated what he meant by offering a wayward two-iron off the tee at the 12th that finished just short of a gorse bush as an example of his in-and-out display.

"I got lucky the ball didn't go in the gorse," he said. "I've been hitting the two-iron extremely straight... and I hit an awful shot there.

"It was a day when I tried to force it a little bit on the front nine. I got out of rhythm and it was tough to get back but I found a way to make a few good shots on the back nine to shoot even-par on a very difficult nine holes of golf."

Mickelson and Stenson's head-to-head duel on Saturday had millions of viewers watching on television around the world enthralled as the leadership changed hands throughout.

The constant to-ing and fro-ing evoked memories of that special day at the 1977 Turnberry Open when Tom Watson edged out Jack Nicklaus in the so-called 'Duel in the Sun'.

Despite the fact that third-placed American Bill Haas is five shots adrift of Mickelson and six behind Stenson, the left-hander does not believe Sunday's closing round will turn into a match play situation between the top two.

"No, not at all, no," he said. "I don't see that."

Frustrated Rory McIlroy breaks club

Rory McIlroy let out some frustration on the 16th hole at Royal Troon, where he is enduring an indifferent British Open, and his three-wood caught the brunt of it.

After a sloppy approach shot on the 554-yard par-five, he swung the club over his head and then hurled it forward. Rain had softened the fairways, but not that much. When the club hit the ground, the head flew one way and the shaft another.

Which wasn't entirely his fault, McIlroy said.

"The clubhead came loose on it earlier in the week. I had to get the head re-glued," he told reporters after his round. "So it was probably partly to do with that and partly the throw as well.

"I'll get it reshafted tonight ... all will be well in the morning."

Not much has been going well this week for McIlroy, who has posted progressively worse scores: A 69 on Thursday, 71 on Friday and 73 on Saturday, leaving him at even par, equal 18th one round left.

"I've been saying all week that you need to get off to a good start on this golf course, and you need to be under par early, and I wasn't able to do that," the four-times major winner said on Saturday.

"Actually felt like I played okay on the back nine. Held it together quite well. I obviously had the bogey on 15, and actually had a decent chance on 16 to make birdie.

"But, yeah, it was one of those days that was a tough day. I just wish I had gotten off to a better start."

McIlroy, 12 strokes behind leader Henrik Stenson and 11 adrift of second-placed Phil Mickelson, acknowledged he has no realistic chance of winning.

"Henrik and Phil are sort of playing their own tournament right now," the Northern Irishman said. "So go out and try to shoot a good score and try to finish as high as I possibly can."

Critics too harsh says Jordan Spieth

Twice major winner Jordan Spieth suggested the critics were being "unfair" to him and urged everyone to be less negative about his performances after returning a one-over 72 in the British Open third round on Saturday.

The young American enjoyed a remarkable season last year, landing the U.S. Masters and U.S. Open crowns as he surged to the top of the world rankings.

The golfing gods have not been so kind to Spieth this year, though he did win the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January and the Colonial Invitational in his native Texas in May.

The 22-year-old suffered a late meltdown at the Masters in April, squandering a five-shot lead over the closing nine holes.

"It's been tough given I think it's been a solid year and I think had last year not happened I'd be having a lot of positive questions," Spieth told reporters after finishing with a five-over tally of 218 in difficult blustery winds at Royal Troon.

"Instead, most of the questions I get are comparing (my performances) to last year and, therefore, are negative because it's not to the same standard.

"That's almost tough to then convince myself I'm having a good year when, even if you guys think it is (good), the questions I get make me feel like it's not," said Spieth.

"I think that's a bit unfair to me but don't feel sorry for me. I'll still be okay. But I would appreciate if people would look at the positives... it seems a bit unfair at 22 to be expecting something like that all the time."

Spieth wielded his putter last year like a magician waves his wand but this season his form on the greens has dipped and that has been the story at Troon.

"I've been hitting the ball great, I'm just really struggling on the greens this week," he said.

"I'm struggling reading them and then, because of that, I have a tough time hitting a nice, solid putt on a line and being confident about it.

"I missed four putts maybe inside of five feet today, that's not normal, a couple from two feet... that's normally something that doesn't happen."

Spieth made a fast start on Saturday with four birdies in the first seven holes but the gusty 20mph winds began to affect him and he dropped five strokes in seven holes to the 15th.

Bill Haas makes it on to the leaderboard

Even with six PGA Tour victories, Bill Haas knew his record in the majors was lacking.

He had never contended. He never even had a top 10.

Haas finally put together three solid rounds at Royal Troon, including a 2-under 69 on Saturday, and was in third place going into the final round of the British Open.

Just his luck, he picked a major where Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson have turned it into a two-man race.

Stenson had a one-shot lead over Mickelson, with a five-shot gap until Haas. His consolation going into the final round was that he only had one player between him and the lead, even if that one player already has five majors.

''Maybe not,'' Haas said. ''You see your name on the board close to the leaders and there's only a few guys that could fall backward, and you certainly can't expect Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson to fall backward.''

That was out of his hands. He thought more about the golf he has played over three rounds - at least four birdies a day, no big numbers that have derailed the likes of U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and so many others.

Haas certainly has the game for majors. His six victories include East Lake (where he won the FedEx Cup in 2011), Congressional and Riviera. For whatever reason, he hasn't been able to put it together during the four weeks of the year when careers are measured.

''I certainly haven't competed as much as I'd like in majors,'' he said. ''I've played in my fair share of them, but certainly not 20 years' worth. I've played it enough where I think I could have done better than I have in these tournaments. I typically don't feel like I put more pressure on myself. It's just it's the toughest test of golf that we play, and it's beaten me more than I've beat it.''

His best approach to Sunday is to play the course as he finds it and see where how it shakes out.

That's the way he goes about any tournament. Haas is the son of Jay Haas, who played the Open at Royal Troon three times and passed on what advice he could, such as making birdies with the wind behind him on the outward nine. Haas made four of them Saturday to move up the leaderboard, the mistakes didn't hurt him too badly.

He is decisive on the golf course, one of the fastest players on the PGA Tour without ever looking as though he is rushing. His self-talk can be overly harsh, and Haas knows this. He is honest to a fault, such as being asked about playing the final round with Andrew ''Beef'' Johnston in the penultimate group.''

''I certain don't think Phil and Henrik Stenson are feeling the pressure tonight sleeping, knowing that Beef and Bill Haas are behind them,'' he said with a smile. ''So we've got to use that to our advantage and just try to surprise some people.''

There's still plenty at stake even if Haas doesn't catch up to the leaders. He is No. 14 in the Ryder Cup standings, and with the money counting double in a major, that could go a long way toward getting to Hazeltine with the rest of the Americans.

For now, the plan is simple.

''I want to go forward,'' he said. ''With them being a few strokes ahead, I don't think about one or two birdies, I've got to think about shooting a golf score. If I go shoot something in the 60s tomorrow and they fall back, you never know what could happen.''

Scores

1 SWE Henrik Stenson -12 - Par 68 65 68 201
2 USA Phil Mickelson -11 - Par 63 69 70 202
3 USA Bill Haas -6 - Par 68 70 69 207
4 ENG Andrew Johnston -5 - Par 69 69 70 208
5 USA J.B. Holmes -4 - Par 70 70 69 209
T6 USA Tony Finau -3 - Par 67 71 72 210
T6 DNK Soren Kjeldsen -3 - Par 67 68 75 210
T6 USA Steve Stricker -3 - Par 67 75 68 210
T9 USA Keegan Bradley -2 - Par 67 68 76 211
T9 ESP Sergio Garcia -2 - Par 68 70 73 211
T9 USA Patrick Reed -2 - Par 66 74 71 211
T9 RSA Charl Schwartzel -2 - Par 72 66 73 211
T13 ENG Tyrrell Hatton -1 - Par 70 71 71 212
T13 USA Jim Herman -1 - Par 70 70 72 212
T13 USA Dustin Johnson -1 - Par 71 69 72 212
T13 USA Zach Johnson -1 - Par 67 70 75 212
T13 USA Kevin Na -1 - Par 70 69 73 212
T18 ARG Emiliano Grillo Par - Par 69 72 72 213
T18 ESP Miguel Angel Jimenez Par - Par 71 72 70 213
T18 GER Martin Kaymer Par - Par 66 73 74 213
T18 NIR Rory McIlroy Par - Par 69 71 73 213
T18 ITA Francesco Molinari Par - Par 69 71 73 213
T18 USA Webb Simpson Par - Par 70 72 71 213
T18 USA Gary Woodland Par - Par 69 73 71 213
T25 ESP Rafael Cabrera-Bello 1 - Par 68 71 75 214
T25 AUS Jason Day 1 - Par 73 70 71 214
T25 THA Thongchai Jaidee 1 - Par 71 74 69 214
T25 USA Matt Kuchar 1 - Par 71 68 75 214
T25 BEL Thomas Pieters 1 - Par 68 76 70 214
T25 RSA Haydn Porteous 1 - Par 70 76 68 214
T25 USA Brandt Snedeker 1 - Par 73 73 68 214
T25 ENG Matthew Southgate 1 - Par 71 71 72 214
T25 ENG Andy Sullivan 1 - Par 67 76 71 214
T34 BEL Nicolas Colsaerts 2 - Par 72 73 70 215
T34 IRL Padraig Harrington 2 - Par 70 72 73 215
T34 ENG David Howell 2 - Par 74 70 71 215
T34 SWE Alexander Noren 2 - Par 70 72 73 215
T34 ENG Justin Rose 2 - Par 68 77 70 215
T39 KOR Byeong-Hun An 3 - Par 70 70 76 216
T39 NIR Darren Clarke 3 - Par 71 72 73 216
T39 USA Jason Dufner 3 - Par 71 71 74 216
T39 USA Ryan Palmer 3 - Par 72 73 71 216
T43 ENG Luke Donald 4 - Par 73 72 72 217
T43 USA Rickie Fowler 4 - Par 69 72 76 217
T43 AUS Matt Jones 4 - Par 69 73 75 217
T43 SCO Russell Knox 4 - Par 72 70 75 217
T43 IND Anirban Lahiri 4 - Par 69 72 76 217
T43 USA Ryan Moore 4 - Par 70 73 74 217
T43 ENG Lee Westwood 4 - Par 71 73 73 217
T50 WAL Jamie Donaldson 5 - Par 69 73 76 218
T50 USA Jim Furyk 5 - Par 74 72 72 218
T50 KOR Kyung-tae Kim 5 - Par 70 71 77 218
T50 AUS Marc Leishman 5 - Par 74 69 75 218
T50 NIR Graeme McDowell 5 - Par 75 71 72 218
T50 ESP Jon Rahm 5 - Par 74 71 73 218
T50 AUS Adam Scott 5 - Par 69 73 76 218
T50 USA Jordan Spieth 5 - Par 71 75 72 218
T50 RSA Richard Sterne 5 - Par 68 74 76 218
T50 USA Justin Thomas 5 - Par 67 77 74 218
T50 USA Harold Varner III 5 - Par 71 72 75 218
T50 USA Bubba Watson 5 - Par 70 76 72 218
T62 USA Kevin Chappell 6 - Par 71 75 73 219
T62 USA Harris English 6 - Par 73 73 73 219
T62 RSA Zander Lombard 6 - Par 69 76 74 219
T65 AUS Greg Chalmers 7 - Par 72 71 77 220
T65 ENG Ryan Evans 7 - Par 71 75 74 220
T65 RSA Branden Grace 7 - Par 70 74 76 220
T65 USA James Hahn 7 - Par 74 72 74 220
T65 JPN Yuta Ikeda 7 - Par 68 74 78 220
T65 SCO Paul Lawrie 7 - Par 72 74 74 220
T65 KOR Soo-Min Lee 7 - Par 68 77 75 220
T65 ENG Danny Willett 7 - Par 71 75 74 220
T73 AUS Scott Hend 8 - Par 71 73 77 221
T73 USA Patton Kizzire 8 - Par 76 70 75 221
T73 USA Mark O'Meara 8 - Par 71 72 78 221
T73 USA Daniel Summerhays 8 - Par 71 73 77 221
T77 USA Marco Dawson 9 - Par 72 73 77 222
T77 USA Charley Hoffman 9 - Par 71 73 78 222
T77 USA Kevin Kisner 9 - Par 70 72 80 222
80 JPN Kodai Ichihara 11 - Par 69 77 78 224
81 SCO Colin Montgomerie 12 - Par 71 75 79 225
CUT RSA George Coetzee 5 - Par 75 72 - - 147
CUT RSA Ernie Els 5 - Par 71 76 - - 147
CUT AUS Marcus Fraser 5 - Par 72 75 - - 147
CUT USA William McGirt 5 - Par 75 72 - - 147
CUT AUS Rod Pampling 5 - Par 72 75 - - 147
CUT SCO Richie Ramsay 5 - Par 73 74 - - 147
CUT USA Robert Streb 5 - Par 74 73 - - 147
CUT NZL Steve Alker 6 - Par 73 75 - - 148
CUT USA Mark Calcavecchia 6 - Par 73 75 - - 148
CUT USA Todd Hamilton 6 - Par 75 73 - - 148
CUT AUS Nathan Holman 6 - Par 72 76 - - 148
CUT JPN Shugo Imahira 6 - Par 68 80 - - 148
CUT USA Smylie Kaufman 6 - Par 72 76 - - 148
CUT USA Chris Kirk 6 - Par 72 76 - - 148
CUT USA Justin Leonard 6 - Par 70 78 - - 148
CUT SWE David Lingmerth 6 - Par 73 75 - - 148
CUT ITA Matteo Manassero 6 - Par 70 78 - - 148
CUT USA Jordan Niebrugge 6 - Par 72 76 - - 148
CUT FJI Vijay Singh 6 - Par 69 79 - - 148
CUT THA Kiradech Aphibarnrat 7 - Par 75 74 - - 149
CUT ENG Ross Fisher 7 - Par 71 78 - - 149
CUT ENG Tommy Fleetwood 7 - Par 73 76 - - 149
CUT USA Colt Knost 7 - Par 74 75 - - 149
CUT KOR Sang-Hee Lee 7 - Par 73 76 - - 149
CUT IRL Shane Lowry 7 - Par 78 71 - - 149
CUT NED Joost Luiten 7 - Par 75 74 - - 149
CUT ENG Callum Shinkwin 7 - Par 73 76 - - 149
CUT USA Brendan Steele 7 - Par 73 76 - - 149
CUT ENG Anthony Wall 7 - Par 76 73 - - 149
CUT ENG David Coupland 8 - Par 72 78 - - 150
CUT AUS Nick Cullen 8 - Par 74 76 - - 150
CUT FRA Victor Dubuisson 8 - Par 71 79 - - 150
CUT USA Brian Gay 8 - Par 76 74 - - 150
CUT ARG Fabian Gomez 8 - Par 76 74 - - 150
CUT USA Russell Henley 8 - Par 73 77 - - 150
CUT JPN Hideki Matsuyama 8 - Par 72 78 - - 150
CUT JPN Yusaku Miyazato 8 - Par 77 73 - - 150
CUT ENG Robert Rock 8 - Par 71 79 - - 150
CUT FRA Clement Sordet 8 - Par 75 75 - - 150
CUT KOR Jeung-hun Wang 8 - Par 75 75 - - 150
CUT SWE Kristoffer Broberg 9 - Par 77 74 - - 151
CUT ENG Paul Casey 9 - Par 77 74 - - 151
CUT USA John Daly 9 - Par 75 76 - - 151
CUT ESP Scott Fernandez 9 - Par 72 - - 72
CUT ENG Scott Gregory 9 - Par 78 73 - - 151
CUT DNK Thorbjorn Olesen 9 - Par 72 79 - - 151
CUT RSA Brandon Stone 9 - Par 73 78 - - 151
CUT JPN Hideto Tanihara 9 - Par 72 79 - - 151
CUT AUT Bernd Wiesberger 9 - Par 74 77 - - 151
CUT ENG James Heath 10 - Par 75 77 - - 152
CUT USA Billy Horschel 10 - Par 67 85 - - 152
CUT SWE Rikard Karlberg 10 - Par 74 - - 74
CUT THA Phachara Khongwatmai 10 - Par 71 81 - - 152
CUT ENG Jack Senior 10 - Par 79 73 - - 152
CUT JPN Yosuke Tsukada 10 - Par 74 78 - - 152
CUT USA Jimmy Walker 10 - Par 72 80 - - 152
CUT ENG Matthew Fitzpatrick 11 - Par 73 80 - - 153
CUT DNK Lasse Jensen 11 - Par 78 75 - - 153
CUT JPN Satoshi Kodaira 11 - Par 76 77 - - 153
CUT KOR Seung-yul Noh 11 - Par 75 78 - - 153
CUT SCO Marc Warren 11 - Par 77 76 - - 153
CUT ENG Paul Howard 12 - Par 73 81 - - 154
CUT ITA Stefano Mazzoli 12 - Par 76 78 - - 154
CUT ENG James Morrison 12 - Par 76 78 - - 154
CUT RSA Louis Oosthuizen 12 - Par 71 83 - - 154
CUT IRL Paul Dunne 13 - Par 77 78 - - 155
CUT NZL Danny Lee 13 - Par 78 77 - - 155
CUT USA Jamie Lovemark 13 - Par 74 81 - - 155
CUT AUS Steven Bowditch 15 - Par 79 78 - - 157
CUT USA Scott Piercy 16 - Par 77 81 - - 158
CUT SWE Oskar Arvidsson 17 - Par 75 84 - - 159
CUT USA Ben Curtis 18 - Par 77 83 - - 160
CUT SCO Sandy Lyle 21 - Par 85 78 - - 163
RET ENG Chris Wood 3 - Par - - - 0
RET USA David Duval 11 - Par 82 - - 82




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