The 150º British Open It will not appear, except for a miracle this Sunday, in the pantheon of Spanish golf. The Armada no longer has any hope of hanging on because Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, after setting off fireworks on Friday, had a strange and indescribable third day. Vizcaíno and Castellón remained at -5 and -3, respectively, after two rounds of -1 and even. Nobody gives to dream of a national triumph in the St Andrews Old Courseand that in the first three rounds there was hardly a moment when the cathedral got tricky.
Rahmbo and ‘El Niño’ departed forty minutes apart, with pleasant sunshine in Scottish skies and little wind. At that time, most par 4s were accessible from the tee and it was common to see players hitting for the eagle, although conditions were becoming more difficult compared to the morning shift.
Rahm, followed this Saturday by many Spaniards (including Paul Gasol, who was with Sergio García on Friday) shouting “Allez Jon!” or “Aúpa Jon!”, Completed a roller coaster ride. He started failing from three yards for a birdie and at 2 came the first bogey, conditioned by a second shot that went to the bunker. His exit and his approach in the 6, bad, cost him a new blow. The first birdie came late on the 9. He turned twice on the 14 and 15, leaving behind an opportunity like the 12, in which he had an eagle option from range and tripled for par. The bogey at 16, although countered at 18, condemned another day of suffering with the putter that does not suggest victory. “It’s tough when you play well from tee to green and don’t putt. I try to stay there and keep fighting, but it’s hard,” Jon lamented.
Sergio García wasn’t up for the celebrations either. Borriol’s came out like a shot (birdies at 2 and 3), but was wrecked in the fifth, a particularly damaging double bogey as he hit a terrific shot and had the misfortune to find a lie very bad with the second impact, which forced him to invest three shots to get him out of the bunker. Then three bogeys and three birdies. “When I think a putt is slow, it’s fast and when I think it’s fast, it’s slow. At the moment, I don’t see things very well. Too bad”, he commented with regret, in particular because he considers “that he hits the ball well”. “If I do a good last lap, everything will be fine. Let’s see if I continue to hit him well, with good feelings, ”he encouraged himself for Sunday.
The early bird didn’t fuel either Adri Arnaus, the first to visit the grounds of the Spanish delegation. He finished at +1 after making 73 shots (one over par) with two birdies and three bogeys. He missed the goal he set for himself after making the cut, trying to go below par. He still has one bullet left, like Rahm and Garcia, but neither is aiming for the Claret Jar anymore.
Too bad the absence of the Spaniards in the fight for victory because the tournament is really nice. This Saturday they fought at the top of the gunmen’s table with numerous gunshot wounds. In the end, they shared the summit with -16 the Norwegian Viktor Hovland and the Northern Irishman Rory McIlroywith Cam Smith (leader on Friday, decaffeinated this time with +1 for -12), Dustin Johnson (-10) or even the current green jacket Scottie Scheffler (-11), who is still in a divine trance. All a bit off but on the prowl, in case St. Andrews bites into the denouement.
Hovland, a boy (24) with an eternal smile who breaks the Nordic stereotype, is looking for the first major for his country (the Scandinavian box, at men’s level, was opened by Swede Stenson, 2016 British champion at Troon Royal ). He is a fighter capable of getting out of the most complex situations. He birdied four times from 3-6 and closed with a -16 that puts him in the stellar matchup with Rory, with whom he also shared the third round.
Rorssurely the most acclaimed player of this Open, served as barbed wire on Thursday (and all year in the press room), facing the men of LIV who were trying to ascend the throne. He left jewels like an eagle from the bunker on 10 and took a mass bath on 18. Only the bogey on 17 separated him from the solo lead. His first major since 2014 is within reach. The one who would revive a career that has never been cut short, but has stagnated for eight years.