Saturday, July 20, 2013
Stats to know: 18 holes left at The Open
By ESPN Stats & Information
Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Victory is in sight for both Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood.
Ten of the last 11 Open winners in The Open Championships held at Muirfield were either first or second after 54 holes.
With that in mind, let’s look at the first and second place golfers heading into Sunday’s final round.
This is Lee Westwood’s second career 54-hole lead in a major. The other came at the 2010 Masters, when he held a one-shot lead over eventual champion Phil Mickelson. Westwood finished second.
Nobody has more top-3 finishes in majors in golf’s modern era (since 1934) without a win than Lee Westwood’s seven. If Westwood won, it would mark the first time that Englishmen won consecutive majors since 1909.
Westwood has played the font nine in -5 this week, the best of any golfer in the field. His 26 one-putts are the most of anyone at the Open.
Westwood hit 11 of 18 greens in regulation, but his putter saved him at least two strokes when he made a long eagle putt from just off the green on Par-5 5th hole and when he hit a long putt on the Par-3 16th for a bogey.
Tiger Woods enters the final round tied for second. This is his best 54-hole position in a major since the 2009 PGA, when he failed to convert with a share of the 54-hole lead in a major for the only time in his career.
Woods has never won a major without at least a share of the 54-hole lead. He’s trying for his fourth Open title. The only Ameicans with four or more are Tom Watson (5) and Walter Hagen (4).
Woods has fared better on the Par 4s and 5s in this tournament when teeing off with an iron. He’s -4 on those holes in which he’s used an iron, +2 when teeing off with a driver or wood.
Hunter Mahan is tied for second entering the final round of the second straight major.
Mahan began the third round tied for 20th. Only three players have ever won the Open when 20th or worse through 36 holes- Gary Player (tied for 20th in 1959), Ian Baker-Finch (tied for 28th in 1991) and David Duval (tied for 35th in 2001).
Mahan has 13 birdies, tied for the most of anyone in the field.
Mahan is seeking his first major title. His best major finish was tied for fourth at this year’s U.S. Open.
Other notable contenders
Adam Scott is three shots back of the lead. He's trying to become the first golfer to win the Masters and Open Championship since Woods in 2005. He finished second last year, blowing the four-shot lead he had entering the final round.
Zach Johnson is among a group that is four shots back of the lead, but he doesn't have a good final-round history. His last eight final rounds in majors have been par or worse.
Angel Cabrera is also four shots back. He's trying to become the second Argentine golfer to win the Open, joining Roberto De Vicenzo (1967).
Cabrera's best finish at the Open was a tie for fourth in 1999.