After the 2013 British Open third round that felt like a roller coaster ride, Lee Westwood leads by two-strokes over Tiger Woods and Hunter Mahan who sit at one-under. While Woods is lurking and Westwood is leading, history is not on either of their sides.
For starters, Westwood has never won a major. Likewise, Woods has never won a major when not leading after 54 holes. Furthermore, Westwood will need to have clutch putting, while Woods will need to be better putting. Countless times in the third round, Woods was unable to take the sole lead or stay in the lead. In short, Woods could be tied with Westwood if his putting was better.
After the third round, Westwood was asked about pressure being on him, and he answered in a very funny, yet direct way.
“I’m not in a high-pressure situation, because I’m going to go have dinner, and I’m so good with a knife and fork now that I don’t feel any pressure at all,” said Westwood, who has seven top-3s in majors since the start of 2008. “I’ll think about winning the Open Championship tonight at some stage, I’m sure. I don’t see anything wrong with that. … You picture yourself holding the Claret Jug at the final tee and seeing your name at the top of the leaderboard. When it comes to tee off, I should be in the same frame of mind as I was today.I didn’t feel any pressure today and felt nice and calm out there and in control of what I was doing.”
Like Westwood mentioned, he didn’t feel any pressure Saturday, but Sunday will be a different story. With Woods lurking two strokes back and 17 players within six strokes, it is still anyone’s Open Championship to win.
Woods could win his first major when not leading after 54 holes, and Westwood could win his first-ever major. However, history suggests otherwise, and the conditions of Murfield could throw any — if not all — the players a curveball come Sunday.
One thing is for sure, the final round at Murfield will be drama-filled. It could come down to the last made putt on 18 to figure out who wins the Open Championship or with the close leaderboard a playoff is very likely.