TROON, Scotland (AP) — The latest from the British Open (all times local):
Steve Stricker has really got to be kicking himself over one miserable hole in the British Open.
The 49-year-old American turned in another fine round Saturday, shooting a 3-under 68 in cool, blustery conditions at Royal Troon.
Stricker opened the tournament with a 67, and he made 17 pars in brutal conditions Friday for what would’ve been a very solid round if not for a quadruple-bogey 8 at the 15th hole.
As it is, Stricker is at 3-under 210 for the tournament and probably too far back to make a run at becoming golf’s oldest major champion.
Phil Mickelson has surrendered the lead at Royal Troon.
An errant drive at the 555-yard fourth hole forced Lefty to settle for a par. Henrik Stenson made a two-putt birdie at the par-5 hole, giving him the lead for the first time in the British Open.
Stenson began the day one stroke behind Mickelson, who opened the tournament with a record-tying 63. The Swede rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the first hole, quickly pulling into a tie for the lead in the final group.
No male Swedish golfer has ever won a major championship.
The leaders have teed off in the third round of the British Open.
On a cool, blustery day along the Irish Sea, Phil Mickelson starts out at 10 under and clinging to a one-stroke lead over Henrik Stenson. Given the conditions, it’s going to be difficult for any player to go very low Saturday.
The front nine is playing much easier, with the wind mostly at the players’ backs. Dustin Johnson actually drove to the back of the green on the 377-yard fourth hole, only to three-putt for a par.
The inward nine is proving to be a real beast, however. Top-ranked Jason Day felt the wrath of Royal Troon. He made four birdies on the front side to briefly climb onto the leaderboard, only to take four bogeys on the back to finish with an even-par 71 and a 1-over 214 for the tournament.
J.B. Holmes and Patrick Reed are also playing well on the outward leg, but they’ve still got the toughest holes to go.
Colin Montgomerie might play possibly his last round at a British Open all by himself.
The 53-year-old Scotsman dropped to last place of those playing this weekend after shooting 41 on the back nine into the wind for 8-over 79 in the third round Saturday. He is 12 over par for the week at Royal Troon, his home club and where his father was club secretary.
Montgomerie said he likely won’t attempt to qualify for the Open again. He plays on the senior circuit now.
Jordan Spieth looked like making a run at the leaderboard after four birdies in his first seven holes got him back to even par, but he had three bogeys and a double-bogey on his last 10 holes for 1-over 72. Spieth is 15 shots behind second-round leader Phil Mickelson, who was two hours from teeing off.
Top-ranked Jason Day made four birdies to reach the turn in 32, and on 3 under.
Jordan Spieth is doing his best to get back in the mix at the British Open.
Spieth made the cut with no room to spare at Royal Troon and began the third round 14 shots behind Phil Mickelson. He made four birdies in seven holes to get back to even par before a bogey on the ninth to go out in 33.
He putted for eagle on three holes, including the par-4 seventh that was downwind. Spieth was about 10 yards short of the green.
Haydn Porteous also was 3 under for his round and at 1 over.
The leaders were still more than four hours from starting. The question is how much stronger the wind gets in the afternoon, and how long into the evening it blows.
The wind is strong and the greens are slower for the third round of the British Open.
Gusts already were approaching 20 mph (32 kph) when the third round began at Royal Troon, and they were expected to top 30 mph for most of the afternoon. That led the R&A to decide not to cut or roll the putting surfaces.
The wind and cool air was back to its prevailing direction, meaning the outward nine was playing downwind. And it showed. Jordan Spieth and Brandt Snedeker each made two birdies in three holes to start their rounds
The fun was to begin when they turned back into the wind on two of Troon’s strongest holes, Nos. 10 and 11.
Phil Mickelson had a one-shot lead over Henrik Stenson. They were still some six hours from teeing off.
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