They call Saturday “moving day” in golf because a lot of tournaments change quickly over the course of the third round. Players can’t win a tournament on Saturday, but they can certainly lose it.
It’s not over – by any stretch – for the pair of Camerons who started the day in the final pairing. But Cam Smith and Cam Young struggled throughout the round. Smith was uncharacteristically poor with his putter and Young made one giant mistake – a double-bogey in which he used his putter four times – to drop out of Sunday’s final pairing.
That final grouping distinction goes to Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland. The pair played together on Saturday and after dueling rounds of 66, they will play together on Sunday with the Open Championship on the line.
McIlroy, trailing Hovland by a shot on the 10th hole, made an absolutely ridiculous bunker shot that found the bottom of the cup for an eagle.
While Hovland didn’t post a major highlight like Rory, he did put up the only bogey-free round of any player on Saturday. Both players are 16-under par and four shots clear of the closest challengers – Smith and Young – who are at 12- under.
Both McIlroy and Hovland both made birdie at 18 – a theme of the day, one making a putt and the other following – to stretch their lead to four shots.
Not only does Rory have a share of the 54-hole lead at St. Andrews, but he got another wish to come true – a LIV golfer isn’t going to win The Open.
Rory has been very outspoken with his critiques of the Saudi-backed league, saying that “it would be better for the game” if one of them doesn’t win.
The player with the best shot to do it was Dustin Johnson. Johnson entered the day in fifth place but dropped to seventh after a 71 on Saturday. The problem isn’t the placement on the leaderboard, but the deficit.
Johnson is six shots back of Hovland and McIlroy. FanDuel currently has Johnson at 50-1 to hoist the trophy and even that feels generous.
McIlroy is the odds-on favorite to win, currently at -120, followed by Hovland at +175. No other player is better than 10-1 in what looks to be a two-man race.