The stage is set for one of the most thrilling Open finishes of all-time at St Andrews tomorrow.
So many players are in with a great chance of lifting the Claret Jug it’s untrue and among the leading contenders is a player looking to create golfing history and another who will be striving to achieve…golfing history.
Jordan Spieth still has his sights firmly fixed on the Grand Slam of majors in one season – he already has the Masters and US Open tucked away in his locker.
At -11, Spieth is one off the lead unbelievably jointly held by unknown Irish amateur Paul Dunne (pictured) who shot a 3rd round Open and is enjoying a fairytale Open.
Fellow countryman Padraig Harrington said: “It is phenomenal. His first-round score was a tremendous achievement, then to back it up and shoot another 69 in the second round was really gutsy, and now to go out there and be leading the tournament, you can't take that away from him ever.
“He's led The Open Championship a long way into the event as an amateur. That is as rare as it comes. There's not too many people who have been leading into the third round as an amateur. Hopefully he continues to play great. If I don't win, I hope he does.”
Harrington (65, -10) could well do just that. He’s back to his Open/links-playing best and will be a serious threat to Spieth and co. tomorrow.
Quipped Harrington: Yeah, I always wanted to shoot 65 on the Sunday of an Open. Unfortunately there's another round to go tomorrow!”
The Dubliner feels his past Open successes at Carnoustie and Birkdale will stand him in good stead, saying: “I hope it does. I can't tell what anybody else is thinking and how they're feeling, but I'll be certainly telling myself that I know what I'm doing and I've done it before, and I'd be using it to help myself for sure, having done it twice before. “
Dunne is sensationally top of the charts alongside 2010 St Andrews champion Louis Oosthuizen and Aussie Jason Day who is clearly showing no signs of the vertigo problems which plagued him at the US Open at Chambers Bay.
Day has been banging on the majors door long enough and may be this time he will finally knock it down. After the Ashes trouncing of England at Lord’s, it was some day for the Aussies.
But anything can happen tomorrow and so many quality players are there or thereabouts and in with a shout and right there among them is Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose, tied 6th on –9 after both shooting 68s.
It’s about as unpredictable as the Lottery – frontrunner Dunne is by no means certain of claiming the amateur silver medal with American rival Jordan Niebrugge only three shots adrift!
Overnight leader Dustin Johnson (75) had a disaster – not unusual on a Sunday – but that could work in his favour tomorrow with the pressure now well and truly off him. He’s still only five shots behind.
But the one they’ll all be looking out for is Spieth, the lean mean golfing machine who can seemingly do no wrong. He’s one round and the US PGA from a huge slice of golfing history.
“What are my thoughts on the magnitude? I see it as something that's only been done once before, and it was a long time ago.
“That opportunity very rarely comes around, and I'd like to have a chance to do something nobody has ever done, and so if I think about it that way, then I just want it a little bit more tomorrow. I'm going to play to win, and I'm not playing for a place. “
An enormous warning for the many other Open hopefuls…