5 things we learned Saturday at the British Open

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5 things we learned Saturday at the British Open

Yes, CarNASTY is fun, but CarNICEty is electrifying. The former demands that we empathize with the greats of the game, as they stumble and bumble toward numbers we know well. The Nice version of the course along the river Tay offers birdies and eagles (and perhaps even an albatross?) and keeps us glued to sofas, chairs and yoga balls. I’m hoping for the Nice version on Sunday, because I want excitement with my morning Joe. Let’s toss out five things we learned today, and see if you agree that they matter.

1. What the Royal and Ancient does properly

It allows magic to happen, but only when the wizard properly wields the wand. Jordan Spieth’s driver-putter combination for eagle at the 1st on Saturday was brilliant. Other major championships, thanks mostly to being held on topsoil courses, cannot permit such vagaries. Brilliance is rewarded at Open rota courses, but beware: tomorrow is another day, and should the weather turn, the winds pick up, the raindrops fall, we just might see the antithesis of that result.

WHAT. A. START. ???? drives then green then holes the putt ????

— The Open (@TheOpen)

2. Jordan Spieth may be a golfer for the ages

Haircuts aside, we will know on Sunday around 3 pm, eastern standard time, but the young Texan relishes the limelight, the pressure cooker, and the major victories. As he admitted in interviews this week, he’s not afraid to press the STOP button and recharge the batteries, clear the mind, whatever it takes. Long game, short game, common shot, creativity required, Spieth played flawless golf on Sunday, beginning with THAT eagle, then adding four birdies over the remaining 17 holes. Sure, he sometimes looks pouty, but he’s hard to bet, or root, against. A win on Sunday would be the first second victory in a major (still with us?) and might set him in the Watson/Vardon/Thomson track for all-time Open winners.

You won’t believe ‘s morning in Carnoustie – and we aren’t talking about the course ???? ???? Sound on ????

— The Open (@TheOpen)

3. Tomato, TomAHto, Zander, Xander, let’s call the whole thing golf

Both golfers have shown us that uncommon names/nicknames are a nice conversation point, but stellar golf in a major championship is something else. Zander Lombard has been completely off form this year, but Carnoustie brought out his finest golf. Xander Schauffele was the surprise of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season, and has revealed a major championship-level skillset during his time alongside the Tay and the Barry. Xander enters day four in a first-place tie with Spieth and Kisner. He’ll play in the final pairing on Sunday with Spieth. Zander sits 5 back of the leading triumvirate, and if his finish on Saturday serves as motivation, he will be part of the conversation on July 22nd.

What an image. What a shot.
EAGLE 2 at 18 for .

— The Open (@TheOpen)

4. Growl

Johnny Miller said it best today, when he opined that Tiger Woods was ready to burst out and challenge, if not win. Woods 2.0 played marvelous shots on day 3, and other than Spieth, worked his way around Carnoustie better than any other golfer in the field. If the 3-time champion golfer of the year combines mental fortitude with a hot putter, this writer predicts that he will hoist Claret No. 4 on Sunday.

Brilliant up and down for par for . You’re not going to want to miss tomorrow.

— The Open (@TheOpen)

5. Kisner proved me wrong, and might do so again on Sunday

It was Zach, and not Kevin, who failed to manage the closing stretch of Hogan’s Alley. Kisner’s putter stayed warm and his mind remained sharp. He learned from his faux pas on the 36th hole, and played within himself over the final 18 holes. 3 birdies and 15 pars brought the pride of Aiken, South Carolina, to the top of the firs page again. He’ll play with that other Kevin (Chappell) in the penultimate pair on day the fourth. Kisner knows the major pressure from recent touts with immortality, and might break through for a deserved major title.

. takes the outright lead with his second birdie of the day

Full scoring

— The Open (@TheOpen)

5 things we learned Saturday at the British Open

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