Sunday's Birdies and Bogeys
July 18, 2015
Birdie: Jordan Spieth
Although his round was off to a promising start, Spieth's Grand Slam bid appeared to be submarined after a bogey on the easy ninth. Instead, Spieth illustrated outstanding moxie, dropping birds on the next three holes on his way to a 66, staying right in the hunt. Putting inside six feet remains an adventure for the 21-year-old, but the way he's striking the ball, envision Spieth making a formidable run at history on Monday. -- Joel Beall
Bogey: Dustin Johnson
Through the first three disjointed days, Dustin Johnson looked incapable of faltering on a golf course he had been overpowering. But during a third round when seemingly everyone else in the field was going low, DJ stalled, first by rattling off a series of pars on a very vulnerable front nine, then with three straight bogeys to close. Five strokes behind, there's still a small chance of Johnson capturing his first major title on Monday, but given his unsightly 75 on Sunday, he hardly looks up to the task. -- Sam Weinman
Birdie: Padraig Harrington
It's been a rough go for Harrington since winning at Royal Birkdale, battling numerous swing changes to mostly subpar results. Things have clicked at St. Andrews this week, as Paddy joined the claret jug conversation on the heels of a third-round 65. A victory would put Harrington in hallowed company, joining the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods and Gary Player with three Open titles. -- J.B.
Bogey: Monday productivity
Here's one downside to a potentially riveting Open finish being pushed into next week: How are we supposed to get any work done? (Well, not really us. This is work for us). But for the rest of you, can you really be expected to focus on spreadsheets or sales calls or whatever the heck it is you do while there are two dozen players in contention, including one guy trying to go for the Grand Slam? Should Obama close the stock markets just to be safe? Might not be a bad idea. -- S.W.
Birdie: David Duval
The 2001 Open champion should have been happy to have a tee time at all Sunday at the Old Course. He needed a birdie on 18 the day before just to make his first cut in five years in a major. But Duval, playing in the first group of the day, rattled off seven birdies to shoot 67. Although Duval was bumped out of the top 10 thanks to the wave of low scores that followed, it's still an encouraging showing, and he's still got 18 holes to make it even better. -- S.W.
Bogeys: Old Course critics
St. Andrews hosts the Open every five years. And every tournament affair, a host of detractors will argue the Home of Golf has become an antiquated championship venue. These are also the same people who don't like pizza and think the Beatles are overrated. Worries that these lower scores are a byproduct of modern equipment are overblown. Despite the advances in golf technology, there's a good chance the 2015 winner falls short of Nick Faldo's 18-under mark from 1990. Moreover, St. Andrews is not alone is conceding red numbers, as players routinely score in the mid-270s at other meccas like Augusta National and Pebble Beach. St. Andrews is not the hardest of golf courses. But it's reputation as one of the game's best experiences is unquestioned. -- J.B.
Bogey: Fans following Jordan Spieth
We get it: you're in arms' length of greatness, and you want to document the moment. But the frequency of picture clicks in the midst of Spieth's address is off the charts. Which raises two observations: 1) These people realize there's a silent option on their phones and cameras, right? 2) Said fans should consider themselves blessed they are dealing with Michael Greller and not Stevie Williams. -- J.B.
Birdie: Paul Dunne
If you had Paul Dunne among your picks to lead the Open heading into the final round ... you're obviously lying. The amateur Irishman, who had a modestly successful but hardly dominant collegiate career at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, was given 1,500-1 to win this week, and yet he's grabbed a share of the Open lead through 54 holes thanks to a six-under 66 on Sunday. The 22-year-old Dunne, who's actually a hair older than Jordan Spieth, finds himself in intimidating company tied with Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen. But given how unfazed he was through most of his back nine Sunday, you can't dismiss his chances of becoming the first amateur since Bobby Jones to win the Open. -- S.W.
Biride: Jason Day
Day's close calls in majors have been well documented, but he's surprisingly never finished better than T-30 at the British Open. That will change on Monday. Stuck in neutral the first four holes, the Aussie shifted into full speed with birdies on 5 and 6 before adding three more on the back nine against no bogeys to claim a share of the 54-hole lead. Day is coming off a disappointing final round at his last major, but so far this week there haven't been any signs of the vertigo that plagued him at Chambers Bay. One more round like the one he put together on Sunday and he'll be looking down on the golf world from a dizzying new height. -- Alex Myers
Birdie: Marc Leishman
For a brief instant, it looked like we might see the first 62 in major championship history. Leishman's birdie putt on the difficult 17th looked like it was about to drop and he had the easy 18th left. Alas, the putt lipped out and the Aussie settled for another par on the finishing hole, but the 64 is still the low round of the week and it has him in contention for his first major. And don't expect the former PGA Tour rookie of the year to falter. Leishman finished T-5 at last year's British Open and T-4 at the 2013 Masters. -- A.M.
Bogey: Luke Donald
Donald wasn't a big pick coming into this week, but he played himself into conention at a major for the first time in more than two years with a six-under total through the first two rounds. On a day filled with birdies, though, Donald was able to only make one, shooting a 73 and falling to T-33. The former World No. 1 once considered to be the best player without a major looks like he'll remain with a goose egg in the game's biggest events. -- A.M.