Jul20 Running commentary - Day 3


Right boys and girls, that's us just about done for today.

It's been a cracking day's golf at Carnoustie; Steve Stricker's course-record-equalling 64 was sublime, as was the concentration and focus of leader Sergio Garcia.

We'll be back tomorrow to bring you the best of the action from the final round. The TG team is now off on a mission to find a better restaurant than we frequented last night. It won't be hard.

6.24pm Garcia really is producing some sparkling golf. After crunching yet another drive bang down the centre of the 18th fairway, the Spaniard then put his approach to within seven feet. Great chance of a birdie, can he do it? Nope, it slides by the right side of the cup. But as a wise man once said, "the boy's done good."

6.15pm Not so good from Mr Choi as he finds the water with his tee shot. That's got to be frustrating.

6.13pm What do I know? Good old Sergio knocks his pitch to within five feet and confidently drains the par putt. Awesome stuff from the Spaniard. Him and KJ are heading up the 18th and still Garcia looks as cool as a frozen cucumber.

6.04pm Oh no, potential disaster looming for Sergio. After a perfect drive down the 17th fairway, the mercurial Spaniard pulled his second shot badly. In fact, he's made an absolute horlicks of it. And it turns out the Spaniard has actually hit a spectator. He's offering his apologies but will this affect his concentration?

6.02pm Bit of good luck for Canadian Mike Weir. His drive down the 18th looked water-bound, but it performed Jonathan Edwards-like heroics and leapt over the burn. Happy days for Mike.

5.48pm Jimenez is going to drop more shots after placing his tee shot in the burn at the 17th. All is not well in the Jimenez camp at the moment.....but the Garcia camp are roaring with delight after a superb tee shot at 16 leaves him with a real birdie chance.

5.41pm Using his many years of exerience, Jimenez uses the putter to roll the ball up the slope to a foot away from the pin. A truly masterful shot......Garcia has made a par at the 15th which keeps him at 9 under par and 3 shots in the lead.

5.37pm Jimenez has bounced back from his double bogey on 14 with a birdie on 15. He has also sent a bit of a wayward shot down the 16th. He is now left with a difficult little chip up a slope, with very little green to work with AND the green sloping away from him....and you thought that your local course was hard...

5.30pm Retief Goosen has finished what has been a poor round by his standards. He had three bogies on the last three holes and 5 bogies in total. The only birdies were on the fourth,sixth and fourteenth.

5.27pm Miguel Angel Jimenez was playing so nicely until his double bogey at the 14th. He is now 2 under par....Sergio Garcia has played a great shot thay eaves him a 7 footer for birdie, but the way El Nino is putting you could make a safe bet that this will fall into the bottom of the cup, but its not to be and its a safe par.

5.20pm After finding the fairway with his tee shot, Garcia sends his second shot left of the green. No worries though as he lots of green to work with, so he shouldn't have to pull off the impossible like yesterday at the 1st. Playing partner KJ Choi is really finding it difficult today. He seems to be finding everywhere but the fairway.

5.17pm After a duffed second shot, Ernie Els has rolled his next shot close up to the pin...meanwhile KJ Choi is continuing to struggle on the course, finding a fairway bunker on the 14th hole.

5.07pm Garcia really is on fire (not literally) he has just hit an awesome shot into the 13th green that has rolled up pretty close to the pin.

4.53pm Great stuff from Garcia. A birdie at 11 nudges him up to nine under. Choi also picks up a shot at the same hole.

4.43pm Ernie Els is looking very good. He's just put his tee-shot to the par-three 16th to within a couple of feet. Certain birdie I'd imagine.

4.39pm More good stuff from Mr Garcia. He's picked up another two pars on nine and 10 before smoking a driver straight down the middle of the 12th fairway. Lovely. Paul McGinley's just finished with a 68; that's all goof and he's five behind Garcia on three under.

4.29pm It's a great round for Steve Stricker, absolutely fantastic. He's shot a seven-under-par 64 and is two off Sergio's lead. A sublime sand save at the last was the icing on the cake for the American. Can he repeat the heroics tomorrow though?

4.24pm Great moment for Paul Broadhurst. The Englishman has just stroked home an eagle from 40 feet to move to two under.

4.11pm Sergio's got one in the cup at last. The leader has extended his advantage to two strokes with a birdie at the par-three eighth. He just looks so assured and, what's more, looks like he's enjoying himself.

4.09pm Ernie is motoring along now. He's made it three birdies in a row after picking up a shot at the par-three 13th. He's on two under; if only he hadn't had that triple bogey eight on the sixth...

4.04pm Good work from Ernie Els. He's picked up back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th to move to one under, Cracking iron from Garcia on the par-three eighth. He's got a six footer for birdie. Playing partner KJ Choi is not having as much fun. The amiable Korean dropped a shot at the par-five sixth and has pushed his tee-shot on the eighth.

4.00pm After a decidedly average tee shot on the 16th from Steve Stricker, the American gets up and down with ease. He really is playing well and he looks solid as a rock. Cue the terrible collapse down 17 and 18. If that is the case, TG apologises Steve.

3.56pm Tiger's knocked his second short of the Barry Burn on 18. A poor drive cost him and he's fighting to save par...or is he? He's put the pitch to within five feet and the world number one doesn't miss many from that range.

3.54pm Bad news for Padraig Harrington; he's dropped one on the 12th. But there's better news for Canadian Mike Weir as he nails a fine birdie at the seventh. Just for all you concerned readers out there, I'm still without tea.

3.50pm Sergio could extend his lead at the par-five sixth. The leader chipped up to within seven feet and he's just waiting for playing partner KJ Choi to putt out. It's a bogey for the Korean, but here's Sergio...he's had a nightmare. That's a poor miss and the Spaniard has to settle for a par. Disappointing stuff.

3.49pm It's another par for Tiger at 17. He's a couple under for the day, but yo get the feeling he's been happier.

3.45pm Vijay Singh is having a good day. The Fijian went out in 34 and has picked up another birdie on the 14th. He's at three under and looking good.

3.37pm Awesome stuff from Tiger. The world number one was in a hideous place at the 16th, but he played a sublime pitch to within a foot. It's a tap-in and he stays at one under.

3.33pm Steve Stricker is really making a move. His seventh birdie of the day at the par-five 14th moves him to six under, a shot behind leader Sergio Garcia. It's very cold in the media centre and I could do with some tea.

3.22pm Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley are giving the Irish fans plenty to cheer about; both on three under through nine and 11 respectively.

3.18pm Ooh, so close from KJ Choi. The strong-swinging South Korean burns the edge with a 15 footer. He's still a couple back, with Garcia looking solid and business-like.

3.14pm Hello! Steve Stricker's wonderful round continues. The Amercian started the back nine with three solid pars and has now just drained a birdie at the par-three 13th. He's two adrift of the lead on five under.

3.10pm Nerve-jangling stuff from Garcia. He cowers over a seven foot putt for par which we've all seen him miss before...but he drains it at the third to stay at seven under.

3.04pm Garcia's seen sense. He's got some black waterproof trousers on and the outfit is now much easier on the eye. Back to the golf; American Steve Stricker is five under for the day, while Chris DiMarco has just carded a third-round 66 to move to three under.

2.56pm Ernie Els has made an 8 on the par 5 sixth. That might be the end of his challenge for the title....meanwhile JJ Henry has also made a double bogey on the 6th.

2.54pm The chase is on. K.J. Choi has made birdie on the second hole to bring the gap between himself and garcia is only 2 shots again.

2.48pm After finding the deep rough, and with it a nasty lie, after his tee shot, Garcia has played a great recovery shot to find the front of the green....Meanwhile McGinley's good run of form continues with a birdie at the ninth hole.

2.44pm Steve Stricker is having an amazing round with he is creating birdie chances at virtually every hole. He has just missed at birdie putt at the tenth but safely made par.

2.37pm Padraig Harrington has continued his march up the leaderboard with tow back to back birdies on the fifth and sixth. That takes him to 3 under par for the tournament....Sergio Garcia shows he means business with a birdie on his first hole. This extends his lead to 3 shots.

2.31pm Fashion sense aside Garcia has got off to a good start with his tee shot finding the middle of the fairway.

2.30pm Sergio Garcia is teeing off in a very intresting colour combination of orange shirt and cap with red trim and bright red trousers...i think Trinny and Susannah wouldn't be too happy...

2.25pm Paul Casey has finished his round with a 69. He was unlucky on the last, making a bogey when his putt fully deserved a par.

2.20pm Woods has over-cooked his chip shot on the 10th hole, leaving himself a tricky 10 footer for par. It burns the edge and he drops a shot at the 10th.

2.12pm Lee Westwood has birdied the second hole, which makes it two in a row. He is now at 3 under par for the tourament.

2.10pm Justin Rose has finished his round in style with a par at the 18th hole. He has played very well todays with 6 birdies and 2 birdies in his round. He finished with a 67.

2.04pm Chris DiMarco continues his charge with a birdie at the 14th. The American is five under for the day. He is now just three shots off the lead held by Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard tees off at 2.30pm. 

1.58pm Pelle Edberg has finished with a rare birdie on the 18th. He shoots a 67 and goes to one under for the tournament. Lee Westwood birdies the first and is now at two under for the championship. 

1.52pm The players are really enjoying this easy pin position on the first hole, with Ernie Els now adding to the list of players who have made birdies on the first.

1.47pm Tiger is putting up a fight! He has made three birdies within four holes - on the fourth, fifth and now the seventh. The Tiger is truly starting to roar...

1.42pm Paul McGinley is showing the form that gave him the overnight lead on the first day. He has had his second birdie of the round on the fourth hole.

1.37pm Padraig Harrington has started positively with a birdie at the first....Steve Stricker has made his fourth birdie in his first 5 holes. This is phenomenal stuff from the American.

1.34pm Paul Casey is really going well. He has just made his fourth birdie of the day and his second in a row. He is playing some sublime golf.

1.32pm Whilst attempting a pitch shot, a spectator took a picture and with superhuman abilities Woods managed to pull away from his shot. He walked away and regained his focus then played the shot almost to perfection. If you want to learn about focus Woods is the ideal person to study.

1.28pm Paul Casey is showing why he was second on the European Order Of Merit last year, with some fantastic play in the less than perfect conditions.

1.18pm Tiger Woods is starting to show his best form with two birdies on the trot. That means that he is one under for his round and Level Par for the tournament .....McGinley has chipped in on the second hole for a birdie, that takes him to one under par for the tournament.....Justin Rose is three under par for his round with a birdie at 13, that means that he is now level par for the tournament.

1.14pm Paul Casey has made his third birdie of the day at the 13th. He is now at two under par for his round and is currently one over par.

1.13pm Zach Johnson has finished with a 68, after playing some marvellous golf. He had birdies at 1, 13 and 14. That is quite some going for the young Masters Champion.

1.10pm Steve Stricker has just had three birdies in his first three holes! That is quite some going from the American as he is the first person in this tournament to have three birdies in the first three holes.

12.50pm Sandy Lyle, champion at Sandwich in 1985, has picked up an eagle at the par-five 14th. He's level par for the day, four over for the championship.

12.35pm Bad news for Tiger. He's dropped one at the second and now trails by eight shots. Poulter's finished his round with a par at the last. He was five under through 14 holes today, but dropped four shots through 15, 16 and 17. He's three over for the tournament.

12.18pm Great comedy moment. American John Senden fires his approach into the 18th. He finds the grandstand to the right of the fairway, the ball richochets across the fairway before pinging off a fence post on the left side of the rough. Remarkable stuff, much to the amusement of the press in the media centre.

12.15pm Poulter can only make bogey at 16 and slips to two over. That part of the course is playing pretty tough. Tiger's off; he's nailed one down the first as did playing partner Markus Brier.

12.13pm Get in the hole! Great news for Justin Rose fans; the Englishman picked up a birdie at nine with a fine 20 foot putt to move to one over. Here we go, Tiger's on the tee. He's dressed all in black and looks as prepared as ever.

12.07pm Yep, Poulter could only make double at the 15th. It's a shame, especially after the quality that had gone before. It's getting worse; he's stuffed his 16th tee shot straight in the greenside bunker. Desperate. Elsewhere, Luke Donald has just missed a tiddler for par at the 11th and moves back to three over. Eight minutes until Tiger...

12.00pm Poulter is having a nightmare on 15. He had to take a drop following a woeful second. He's played a good recovery to within 15 feet, but that's for bogey. It could well be a double.

11.55am Poulter has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in just a few hundred yards. He found the deep stuff with his drive and then failed to recover with his second. He's got to get up and down for a par at the 15th...it doesn't look likely. Elsewhere, Chris DiMarco has made a good start; he's picked up two shots in the first four holes and is level par for the tournament.

11.47am Pelle Edberg is one under for the day. I had to mention that because I want to mention this...The Swede is wearing yet another very brightly coloured head scarf. It's green and compliments his flowing blonde locks perfectly...I also work for Cosmo.

11.43am Rory McIlroy's through the first hole. Happy days for the young Irishman; he's drained a six footer for par. Good confidence boost and he moves briskly to the second tee. Great work from Ian Poulter. The Englishman found the bunker with his second to the par-five 14th but he showed fine touch and control to put the ball within two foot. Surely another birdie...Yep, he's tapped in and he's one under for the tournament, five under for the round.

11.36am Justin Rose is going well. He's just picked up another birdie at the par-five sixth. That's three on the spin now for the Englishman and he's on level par. For those amongst you on Tiger-watch, the world number one is on the range limbering up. It looks like he could be in for some terrible conditions this aftenoon though...I'm still reeling from that Ian Poulter missed chance at the par three...

11.30am Poulter lines up, pulls the blade back confidently and...pulls it horribly to the left of the hole. That's an awful putt; it barely touched the hole. Anyway, he taps in for his par three and moves on. Irish amateur Rory McIlroy has just got his third round underway. He's two over for the tournament and is the only amateur left in the field. Only 45 minutes until Tiger-time and tension is building...

11.24am More tenuous links to Harry Potter I'm afraid. Ian Poulter, obviously inspired by the launch of the new book, fires a cracking iron to within five feet of the 13th cup. Can he convert for birdie...

11.17am Bang, a bit of magic from Justin Rose. The Englishman records back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth to move to one over. Talking of magic, we got our hands on the new Harry Potter last night. Courses guru Kevin Brown queued through the night to get a copy...

11.04am Big-hitting Kevin Stadler is enjoying life this morning. He's three under for nine holes, one over for the tournament. Back to the weather, it's Ok at the moment but we have it on good authority that in an hour or so it could be umbrella time. Back to the golf; Ian Poulter is flying. He's picked up another shot at the par-four 11th to move to level par.

10.59am Former winner Sandy Lyle has started well. The 1985 champion opened with a nice birdie at the first and is now at three over. The weather's getting a bit better now, but we all know how quickly it changes in this part of the world. 

10.49am Arsenal-mad Ian Poulter has reached the turn in 33 strokes; a sterling effort. He's one over for the tournament and going well. Talking of going well, did anyone notice Ernie Els creep up the leaderboard yesterday? He's handily placed at level par and if I was a betting man, I might be tempted with an each way bet on the big South African.

10.22am Luke Donald is also out on the course. He drained a confidence-boosting 12 footer for birdie at the first to move to three over for the tournament.

10.19am Ian Poulter is cooking with gas now. The snazzy dresser has picked up another birdie to move to one over. He's three under for the day and is in a tie for 20th. Also in that group is Hunter Mahan, who has dropped a shot after picking up four birdies in the first six holes.

10.05am Likeable Englishman David Howell is also out on the course. He's level through the first four, but drops one at the par-four fifth. Talking of likeable Englishmen, TG courses editor Kevin Brown is out on the famous links now getting an updated weather report. News to follow shortly...

10.00am Hold on a minute, it's not just Mr Mahan who's going well. Englishman Ian Poulter is two under through five holes; two over for the tournament. Even at this very early stage of the penultimate day, the tension is building already. It promises to be an enthralling day.

9.50am American Hunter Mahan, off at 8.40am with John Senden, is absolutely on fire. He's picked up four shots in the first six holes with birdies at the first and the second, and then at the fifth and sixth. He's moved to level par, six adrift of Sergio.