Moving Day at Carnoustie proved just that - serious moves were made by serious golfers. The day dawned bright and calm, and since these courses use the weather as a 12th defender, good conditions produce good scores.
You know it would be a good scoring day when Englishman Justin Rose went out in the first couple of groups and carded a 64, moving to the first page of the leaderboard. Then Tiger Woods went out mid-morning and was 3 under at the turn, birdied 3 holes in a row, and basically played a flawless round. A frankly unlucky break on the par 3 16th hole gave Tiger his only blemish on the day (his shot was literally inches from staying on the green, but fell into a collection area). He shot 66 moving to 5 under par, and was the clubhouse leader for the last 2 hours of the afternoon.
Jordan Spieth, who has seemed lost at times this season, found form and charged up the leaderboard, shooting a 3rd Round 65. Even though he wasn’t perfect with his driver, he hit greens and made putts (and drove the first green leading to an 8 foot eagle). Cheers were resounding over the links against the North Sea, and UGA’s Kevin Kisner needed to steady his nerves, block out the sound, and play his own game.
Starting the day tied for the lead, Kiz promptly birdied his 3rd hole to pull in front, adding a birdie on the 6th. The field ebbed and flowed, but Kisner was steady as a rock, getting up and down and sinking key par putts all day. He never really got out of position, and he was deadly with a wedge in his hand giving himself kick-ins for either birdie or par. Being the last group, he came up 18 in the middle of the fairway tied for the lead with 2 others. His approach sailed long, being downwind in 20+ mph gusts. But once again his nerves of steel and steelier gaze found a putt off the green end up inches from the hole. A tap in, and Kisner remains at the top of the leaderboard, and a bogey-free 3rd round tally of 68.
Due to how players finish, Kevin will actually be in the 2nd to last group Sunday (the last group is Xander Schauffle and Jordan Spieth, both of whom carded lower 3rd round scores). But maybe that means less pressure, fewer crowds, and a chance to post a good number. His tee time is 2:35 pm GMT, which is 9:35 am ET.
He will be playing behind Tiger Woods (the crowds should be in front of him), and in front of Jordan Spieth (whose crowds should be behind him but who may leapfrog holes and cause some distraction).
Other notable scores and their cumulative score to par after Round 3:
Brooks Koepka +3
Jason Day +1
Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson -1
Justin Rose -4 (T13)
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood - 5 (T6)
Golf Channel has your TV coverage starting at 4:30 am ET and toss-sweeps it over to NBC starting at 7:00 am, and they will take it to the house whenever play concludes. But as always...