Jul
17
2010
British Open Round 3: What to Expect
By Stephanie Wei under British Open

By the time you read this, the 30 players, who hadn’t finished their rounds when play was called at 9:45 last night, will have teed it back up at 6:30, less than nine hours after they walked off the golf course. The cut line currently is at +1 with three guys at +1 yet to finish their rounds (Jason Day, Mark O’Meara and US Open runner-up Gregory Havret).  It’s supposed to be calm in the morning (per usual) and become increasingly windier as the day goes on, but the gusts are expected to stay within reason — you know, 30-35mph gales instead of 45mph!

Rickie Fowler made an impressive swing in the right direction by posting a 67 on Friday after an 83 in the opening round. He sits at +2 and has to wait until the others finish to know if he’s playing this weekend. Oh, the suspense!

The player who is impressing me the most at the moment? 20-year-old South Korean (“Oriental” as the BBC announcers would say) amateur Jin Jeong — he only has the 18th hole left to play, but getting the unfortunate side of the draw, he is one-under through 17 and five-under for the tournament, which is good enough for T6. Yeah, he’s just T6 and the 18th is a birdie hole.

It’s Jin’s first time playing at St. Andrews and his debut at the Open Championship — which makes his play even more sensational. He’s a lock to win the Silver Medal for Low Amateur. But he’s also in contention and in position to finish on the leaderboard. Perhaps not atop it, but somewhere near.

Jin won the British Amateur Championship, beating a Scot in the final at Muirfield, to become the first Asian to win the event. His victory also completed the grand slam of victories in the amateur championships by Korean-born players (Byeong-Hun An in the U.S. Amateur and Han Chang-Won in the 2009 Asian Amateur).

Watch out, it’s the Asian Invasion.

Oh, by the way, I wrote a little preview (or wrap-up of Day 2) last night for WSJ on the third round. Here’s an excerpt:

Tom Watson said of the ease of play at St. Andrews Thursday, “The Old Lady had no clothes on today.” On Friday, it was just the opposite: She was giving away nothing, thanks to Mother Nature. And we know never to mess with her. Mother Nature blew back with such ferocity that the R&A had to suspend play.

Jason Dufner’s experience on the seventh hole, the first of “the Loop,” the most exposed (read: windiest) part of the course, was the precipitating incident. When he was on the green, he tried several times to place his ball down to putt, but it would roll away because the wind was gusting so hard.

Tiger Woods, who was on the first hole, called the putts his group had “impossible.” His playing partner, Justin Rose, had a pretty straightforward putt that was caught in wind that blew it 18 feet left of the hole.

Read the rest here. More blog posts all day and live-blog action tomorrow starting at 12PM EST-ish over at the WSJ.com’s Daily Fix. Stay tuned and please tune in.

[AP Photo/Jon Super]