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Scott Top Aussie Ahead Of Open Finale

Adam Scott is five off the pace wit one round remaining at Carnoustie (Photo: Bruce Young)
Adam Scott will carry the hopes of Australia into the final round of the Open Championship at Carnoustie as he starts the final round five shots back of a group of three Americans.

Scott added a 3-under 68 to opening rounds of 71-70, his best round of the week seeing him move five places up the standings to T13 and trailing Jordan Spieth, Xander Schaueffele and Kevin Kisner at 9-under.

Open debutante Lucas Herbert is the only other Australian in red figures thanks to a second consecutive 69, an impressive showing from the 23-year-old to be inside the top 30???

Of the eight Australians who began the week seven made the cut, as did New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, but all will start Sunday too far back to contend.

Marc Leishman produced his best round of the week Saturday, a 2-under 69 that moved him to even par for the tournament and T40.

He is one ahead of Jason Day who tumbled 22 places down the leaderboard with a 1-over 72.

Fox, Cameron Davis and Brett Rumford are all at 3-over and T61 while Cameron Smith is 4-over and T69.

Scott said it was nice to post a decent score but he said he knows it will take something special tomorrow if he is to have a genuine chance.

“You just never know what might happen tomorrow,” he said. “If it gets tricky or even if it doesn't, one really good round could go a long way.
“I have to have an amazing round to get myself in it. I don't know whether I want a lot of wind maybe. It could get trickier.

“I'm just going to have to find that great round of golf because they're (the leaders) probably going to finish about 10-under, I'd say, and that leaves me a fair bit of work to do.
“But like we saw today through the first seven or eight holes, you can really put four or five on it and set yourself up, if you can survive the back nine.

“It's just tough, the back nine. It just doesn't give you much.”

Day and Leishman will both be disappointed with their form for the week, Leishman in particular favoured by many before play got underway Thursday.

At 4-under through eight holes in the opening round that optimism looked well placed but he struggled on the inward half and again in the rainy conditions Friday.

For his part Day has never managed to get any momentum and his roller coaster ride continued Friday with a birdie and an eagle offset by a double and two bogies.

Herbert might be having the most impressive week given the circumstances, the former standout amateur proving he has the tools to compete at the top level.

He has made 10 birdies and an eagle for the week but said he had mixed feelings about his Saturday round. 

“I was a little frustrated today,” he told Golf Australia after his round. “Conditions were a little easier today, the greens were softer and there was definitely a chance to move up the leaderboard and try and get myself a good look tomorrow.

“But the form wasn’t as good as I would have liked and unfortunately only manged 2-under.

“In some ways it was a positive day. I didn’t go backwards but frustrating not to move up.”

Herbert played in the group behind Tiger Woods who ignited the crowds with some electric golf, the Australian saying the former World Number One’s charge created a buzz on the course.

“It was a pretty cool atmosphere out there with Tiger in the group in front,” he said.

“The crowds were pretty big, and we had some pretty good players around us too, so it always felt like there was a lot of people watching.

“But I played a practise round with him Tuesday so I kind of experienced that so I was a bit more used to it.”

SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

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