Open Championship blog: wide Open

The general consensus in the media, amongst golf fans and with the bookmakers is that one of Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood or Adam Scott will take home the Claret Jug this evening.

Yes, these three players all have great chances. They all have different points to prove and will set about their respective tasks with unabridged focus and sheer determination to succeed. But, in my view, this tournament is still wide open – a product of a number of factors.

Firstly, the leaders will all be under enormous pressure. Don’t underestimate how difficult it will be for Tiger Woods to get over the line after a five-year major hiatus. If you think it’ll be hard for him, imagine what Lee Westwood – an aging major-less Englishman in an era of great British sporting success – is going through in the lead up to the final round.

Secondly, the conditions seem to be more conducive to good scoring. There is a limited amount of wind and the overcast conditions should prevent the course from firming up as much as it has done in previous days. Jason Dufner has already recorded a four-under-par 67 – better than anything yesterday – and as I write, numerous players are under par out on the course.

Thirdly, the number of talented players lurking just a few shots back is daunting. Sergio Garcia played some fine golf yesterday and he’ll be desperate to break his major duck. He’s certainly well capable of firing a final-round 67 or 68. The same can be said for Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker, who are also just six back on three over.

It’ll require something special, without doubt, but they certainly aren’t out of it. Given what’s at stake, I think anyone who can complete 72 holes in level par will have a chance.

All that’s left to do now is wait.