SOUTHPORT, England--What players were saying after Saturday's third round:
Phil Mickelson (79-68-76), on officials' decision to move up the tees on three difficult par 4s (the sixth, 11th and 16th) and to single-cut all of the greens rather than double-cut them: "That's not for me to say whether it's right or wrong. I've always liked to make the hard holes harder and the easier holes easier because I think that gives better players a chance to separate themselves, and it gives the fans more birdies and bogeys. I thought that those were the three hardest holes that were made a lot easier."
Rocco Mediate (69-73-76): "They could have made it psycho out there, but they did a great job. It was blowing so hard you were hitting clubs you just wouldn't imagine: 5-irons 180 yards. But it was actually kind of fun."
David Duval (73-69-83): "It's about as hard as I've ever played in. I don't know how you can describe it. You have to be out there trying to hit a shot to appreciate it. How do you judge on one hole if a 2-iron is going to go 160 yards, on the next hole a 5-iron is going to go 230 yards? . . . I am extremely disappointed in my score. I can assure you very few people hit the ball better than I did today. . . . If anything I gained confidence with how I struck the ball and maintained my rhythm. You need good bounces on a day like this to have a good score."
Jim Furyk (71-71-77): "This course, more than most links courses, you get what you deserve."
Padraig Harrington (74-68-72), the defending champion, two strokes off the lead, on whether a great day or steady day will be needed to win on Sunday: "I have no idea what the forecast is. Going by the weather service over here, they don't, either. [Laughter.] . . . A steady day could be good enough."
Sergio Garcia (72-73-74): "I'm really disappointed. I fought really hard but didn't get anything out of it."
Davis Love III (75-74-70): "A red number today would've been unbelievable, and it would've been nice, but I have to be happy with this. I'll just watch the boys now on TV."
Colin Montgomerie (73-75-74), asked if these were the worst Open conditions he had ever experienced: "No. Muirfield 2002, when I went off second last. I'll never, ever beat that."
Ross Fisher (72-74-71): "It was ridiculously tough out there, but I'm highly delighted with my 71. I was a little bit surprised that we kept going, really. I got to the 10th, and I had about 160 to the front. I hit a good 3-iron, and it finished almost 15 yards short. So I hit that 3-iron 148, where I normally hit a 3-iron 225."
Paul Casey (78-71-73) , on losing a ball: "The Duke of York was there, and he said he'd hit a ball in there the other day. I said, 'Did you find it, sir?' and he said, 'No.' " [Laughter.]