ST. Andrews (AP), Scotland — Cameron Smith steps into a fairway bunker about three feet below the ball, sitting erratically on the edge of the trap.
The Australian saw his overnight lead disappear in the frustrating third round of the British Open. Here he was on the 13th hole of the old course and made a big decision.
Play safely and somehow get the ball back into play. Or go for a bold shot that has brought danger to its whole.
He chose the wrong option.
Smith reached out to the bunker with an iron, scooped a low ugly shot about 100 yards into Heatherbush, and shook the club with anger. Then he hacked out more roughly in the bank in front of the green and failed up and down.
The double bogey 6 was the lowest point of the round that ended at number 18, as many holes were made in perhaps the most famous haircut man in golf. Smith leaned forward in pain after missing the birdie putt.
He started on Saturday with a two-shot lead, a total of the lowest 36 holes in the British Open at St Andrews, and was in a strong position in his first major title run.
He finished it four times behind Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, and after his one over 73, he finished third with a 12 under.
“It wasn’t my day,” Smith said.
Smith made a 255-foot putt on Friday. He shot 8 under 64, but only about 50 feet in the third round. He missed a par putt from 4 feet on the first hole and a shorter birdie putt on holes 5, 15 and 18.
“It was very frustrating,” Smith said. “It’s probably the best I’ve hit the ball all week. I had a lot of opportunities.”
Also heading in the wrong direction later in Moving Day was former No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who recently played only 54 holes as one of the players on the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Tour. was.
While Smith was making a bad decision on the 13th rough, Johnson was in 14th on the par 5 and had to roll the Eagle Putt from the green to the bunker and jump out of the pin from there.
Birdie’s real chance turned into a bogey tap-in, and the mistake seemed to reach him.
Johnson bogged two of the next three holes, hitting a lower drive than expected at number 18, and almost hit Swirkhambridge in front of the tee box. For some reason, Johnson appeared in the 71st round birdies, starting with the 2nd and 3rd birdies, removing him from the one-shot lead at a time.
Johnson was alone in 7th place and missed the lead of 6 shots. He’s the best LIV player, but now he’s unlikely to lift a claret jug, and it’s definitely a good fit for R & A.
There were mistakes everywhere at the end of Saturday’s old course as the sun went down and the pressure increased in the evening.
Take Cameron Young, a 25-year-old American playing in his first British Open and final pairing in the third round.
He took the lead with a 14-under par 4 when he took the flag on par 4, playing one of the toughest holes of the day. Young’s ball bounced to the right on the green and the return tip crossed the pin and down the slope. He ended up with a double bogey.
Young seemed to drop another shot when he hit the second shot too hard and passed the 18th green, but managed to save the par.
He will start the final round with a four-shot lead, as he finished in third place at the PGA Championship in Southern Hills in May.
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