Updated: 21/07/2012 17:40 | By pa.press.net

Snedeker falters on front nine



Brandt Snedeker has relinquished the Open lead

Brandt Snedeker has relinquished the Open lead

Two unwelcome firsts for overnight leader Brandt Snedeker threw the Open Championship wide open midway through the third round at Royal Lytham today.

Snedeker had equalled the 36-hole Open record of 130 thanks to rounds of 66 and 64, in which he had not carded a single bogey or found one of Lytham's 206 dangerous bunkers. But the first of those streaks came to an end when he three-putted from just short of the fifth green, while the second ended just one hole later as his approach to the sixth found sand.

Snedeker recovered well with a pitch to five feet for a birdie on the par-five seventh, but playing partner Adam Scott - the first-round leader after his own 64 on Thursday - had taken over the lead on 10 under after six straight pars were followed by a two-putt birdie on the seventh.

Tiger Woods' bid for a first major title since 2008, and a 15th overall, looked to be fizzling out when he dropped two shots in his first three holes, but the American then holed from 60ft for birdie on the sixth, chipped and putted for another from the back edge of the seventh and converted a superb approach to five feet on the par-five ninth.

Playing partner Thorbjorn Olesen was refusing to be overwhelmed by playing with the former world number one, the Dane also recovering from two dropped shots to get back to five under at the turn.

That left him alongside 2002 winner Ernie Els, second and third in the last two Opens to be played at Lytham, who had picked up two shots in his first 11 holes.

Former Masters champion Zach Johnson had set the clubhouse target on five under after carding a 66.

Scott also birdied the eighth from 25 feet and with Snedeker dropping a shot there and at the ninth, Scott suddenly had a four-shot lead.

That looked in danger when the world number 13 found a fairway bunker off the 10th tee, but he holed from 20ft to save par and maintain his cushion.

related stories on msn

0Comments
Get the Bing Sports App for Windows 8 (© Microsoft)

latest golf news

  • Charley Hull lay three shots off the lead after the third round in Tenerife

    Wales' Amy Boulden shot a third-round 69 to share the lead with South Africa's Connie Chen at the Tenerife Open de Espana Femenino.

  • Joost Luiten claimed a two-shot lead at Celtic Manor

    Holland's Joost Luiten put himself in pole position to make up for the disappointment of missing out on the Ryder Cup in the ISPS Handa Wales Open on Saturday.

  • Curtis Strange believes home advantage is over-rated

    Former US Ryder Cup captain Curtis Strange believes Paul McGinley could be more than a match for opposite number Tom Watson at Gleneagles next week.

  • Stephen Gallacher made an early exit in Wales

    Ryder Cup wild cards Stephen Gallacher and Lee Westwood experienced differing results but similar emotions after the second round of the ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

  • Scotland's Kylie Walker is a shot off the lead in the Tenerife Open

    Maria Balikoeva claimed the second-round lead in the Tenerife Open.

  • Lee Westwood will make his ninth Ryder Cup appearance at Gleneagles

    Lee Westwood has warned European players and fans not to rely on Ian Poulter producing more Ryder Cup heroics at Gleneagles next week.

  • Club secretary Peter Dawson confirmed on Thursday that the R&A is now a mixed membership club

    The decision of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews to vote in favour of allowing women members for the first time in its 260-year history met with universal approval on Thursday.

  • Joost Luiten set the pace at Celtic Manor

    The Ryder Cup continued to dominate the agenda at the ISPS Handa Wales Open, even though none of the four European team members competing at Celtic Manor featured high on the leaderboard.

  • Charley Hull, pictured, welcomed the R&A's decision to allow women members

    A "significant" number of women will be fast-tracked towards membership of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews after the club voted to end its male-only membership policy after 260 years.

  • Trish Johnson held the lead in Tenerife

    England's Trish Johnson shot a stunning 65 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Tenerife Open de Espana Femenino.

  • Gary Player, pictured, believes Rory McIlroy will definitely win the career grand slam

    Rory McIlroy will be Europe's talisman at next week's Ryder Cup and then go on to become the sixth player to complete the career grand slam, according to Gary Player.

  • Paul McGinley, right, and Tom Watson, left, are dreaming of very different outcomes at next week's Ryder Cup

    Rival captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson have outlined their visions for next week's Ryder Cup - and unsurprisingly they are completely different.

  • Paul McGinley is just days away from leading Europe in the Ryder Cup

    European captain Paul McGinley believes his side faces a "different threat" from the United States as they look to defend the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles next week.

  • Laura Davies, pictured, would love to be offered membership to the R&A

    Women who have made a "significant contribution" to golf will be first in line to join the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, if the club votes in favour of women members.

  • Tiger Woods has been unable to swing a club during his injury lay-off

    Tiger Woods is "in no hurry" to hire a new swing coach - as he has yet to swing a club during his latest injury lay-off.