Amongst the chasing pack going into Sunday's final round at Royal Birkdale, Jordan Spieth will note two 'lesser-known' names he has history with.
The Open 2017 – Chan Kim Targets Old Partner
Justin Spieth has a three-shot cushion heading into the final round of The Open 2017, but he’ll be more than aware of two ‘lesser-known’ names looking to chase him down at Royal Birkdale – one of whom is Chan Kim.
The American paired with Spieth in foursomes at the 2008 Canon Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition in the States where the pair enjoyed great success together.
“We played some junior golf together in the American Junior Golf Association, this was back in 2008,” said Kim. “He hit it great then and he hits it great now. And he’s always been a great putter. He was kind of one of those guys that you look at him and you’re like, wow, he’s really going to be good. And here he is.”
Kim’s visit to Southport so far has also been fairly impressive, especially given this week at Royal Birkdale is his first real test of links golf.
But he admits that he will be feeling the tension of a Major Sunday as he tees of at 13.50 alongside Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello.
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,” said Kim, who qualified for The Open 2017 with victory at the Mizuno Open on the Japan Tour. “Final round, with one round to go in a Major Championship, it’s very, very nerve wracking. But I’m also excited about it so I think it kind of takes the nervousness away a little bit.”
The other player making the headlines this week is Austin Connelly, who shares the same agent and swing coach as Spieth.
After talking up Connelly’s chances prior to the start of The Open, Spieth now sees the 20-year-old just six shots back.
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However, it would take a monumental effort from the young Canadian to beat his friend to the Claret Jug. Understandably, he’s not about to make any bold predictions, instead he’ll be looking to enjoy the position he finds himself in.
“I want to make sure I have my European Tour card secured for next year,” said Connelly after Saturday’s round. “I just hope that I have my A-game. I can only control what I can control. So I’m just going to go out there and do the best I can.”