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.

0Comments
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest golf news

  • Lee Westwood claimed the early clubhouse lead in Malaysia

    Ryder Cup team-mates Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts rediscovered top form to set the pace in the first round of the weather-affected Maybank Malaysian Open on Thursday.

  • Matt Kuchar is in a three-way tie for the lead at the RBC Heritage

    Matt Kuchar brought his form from last week's Masters into the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head after opening with a five-under-par 66 to move into a three-way tie for the lead.

  • Lee Westwood will contest the Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur

    Lee Westwood will look to shake off the disappointment of another missed major opportunity - not to mention the jet-lag - in an event which provided one of his earliest professional victories.

  • Graeme McDowell defends his title at Hilton Head this week

    Graeme McDowell will hope history repeats itself as he defends his RBC Heritage title at Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head this week.

  • Bubba Watson is targeting a first Ryder Cup victory

    Bubba Watson joined Tom Watson in becoming a two-time Masters champion with his impressive victory at Augusta National on Sunday.

  • Bubba Watson claimed his second Masters title on Sunday  AP

    American Bubba Watson claimed his second Masters title in three years on Sunday as the weight of history finally proved too much for Jordan Spieth.

  • Garrick Porteous will make his professional debut in Malaysia

    British Amateur champion Garrick Porteous has turned professional following his appearance in the Masters last week.

  • Bubba Watson joined an illustrious group with his second Masters title

    Bubba Watson believes he will cope with his second spell as Masters champion far better than he did the first as he set his sights on a Ryder Cup victory at Gleneagles in September.

  • Jordan Spieth put himself in contention for the Masters  AP

    Augusta National could witness its youngest ever winner or the oldest winner of any major championship on Sunday after a misfiring Bubba Watson threw the 78th Masters wide open.

  • Bubba Watson surged clear in his pursuit of the green jacket  AP

    Free from the pressure of being defending champion, Bubba Watson stressed his desire to claim a second Masters title in three years on Friday as Thomas Bjorn and Jonas Blixt raised hopes of a first European win since 1999.

  • Adam Scott was satisfied with his start in Augusta  AP

    Adam Scott was delighted with the start to his Masters title defence on Thursday, despite being one of many players to fall foul of the shortest hole at Augusta National.

  • Jonas Blixt secured a second-placed finish at Augusta  AP

    Sweden's Jonas Blixt cannot wait for his next shot at major championship glory after finishing second to Bubba Watson in the 78th Masters.

  • Sweden's Carin Koch will captain the European Solheim Cup team in 2015

    Carin Koch has been appointed as European captain for the 2015 Solheim Cup, the Ladies European Tour has announced.

  • Rory McIlroy wants to improve upon his previous best finish of 15th at Augusta  AP

    Rory McIlroy believes almost three-quarters of the 97-strong field can win the US Masters, while Justin Rose neatly summed up an unpredictable season so far.

  • The Championship has been switched to Singapore

    The European Tour has moved one of its events from South Korea to Singapore with just three weeks' notice.