Brandt Snedeker goes into round three of the Open is a position he could scarcely have predicted himself when he landed in the UK earlier this week.
The 31 year-old from Nashville is ranked 29th in the world, but his form in previous Open’s was far from inspiring, having missed the cut in three of the past four events by a aggregates of eleven, nine and five over par. The bookies too did not fancy his chances, available at 250-1 in some outlets.
Snedeker has however demonstrated the best opening rounds of golf at the Open not seen since Nick Faldo in 1992. His opening day 66 was improved with yesterday’s 64 to leave him one shot ahead of Adam Scott.
The 2007 PGA rookie of the year is yet to drop a shot and has not found a single bunker at the Royal Latham & St.Annes course, impressive given the fact there are 206 to choose from. The American is pleased with his performance thus far and is looking to play solid golf for the final two rounds. “I don’t have to play the best golf over the next 36 holes.
I have to play good golf, but maybe not the best of anybody. So that’s always nice to have” he said after yesterday’s record equalling round. “I’m going to go out there and try to do the exact same things I did the first two days; hit a bunch of greens and make a bunch of putts and try to extend my lead as far as possible.”
Adam Scott could not repeat his opening day’s efforts, but a round of 67 was enough to stay within one shot of Snedeker, with Tiger Woods ominously in third position on -6. The 14 time major champion struggled with his putting falling short with a number of birdie attempts and finished the day with a 67, dropping just one shot on the 15th.
1999 Open winner Paul Lawrie is at -4, where he is joined by four others, including Graeme McDowell. The Portrush native made a double bogey on the 11th, but did pick up three birdies to finish with a round of 69. Rory McIlroy’s round featured five bogeys and a double bogey at the ninth to leave him out of contention going into the final two days. Padraig Harrington shot a 72 to join a clutch of players on +2.