Saturday was the hottest day of the year in most of England and The Open served up a scorcher. I am hearing that it was cloudy and rainy in Dubai - I keep telling my friends that to get guaranteed sun and blue skies in the summer, come to Rotherham, home to my Peter Cowen Academy (I am now an unofficial spokesman for the Rotherham Tourist Board).
Back to Royal St George’s - unfortunately, on ‘Moving Day’, my players mostly moved the wrong way.
As predicted by yours truly, the pin positions for the third round set by the R&A were some of the toughest seen for a while, but if someone can shoot a 65 (Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre), I suppose no one can really complain. But we all still do ...
Here is the rundown on my guys on Saturday:
Danny Willett (-4/T18): Two-under for the round after a holed-out eagle on the 10th, but bogeys on holes 14 and 15 took him away from closing in on the leaders. He looked a little concerned playing out of the long rough on the front nine, mindful of his recent appendix operation is still medically healing, but we understand all is good and Danny is all set for Sunday’s tomorrow’s final round.
Brooks Koepka (-3/T25): Three bogeys in his first five holes prevented the four-time major winner from getting into contention, which we all expected and hoped for.
Matt Fitzpatrick (-3/T25): A back nine of 32 and a four-birdie round, the best round by two shots of all my guys from Matt. He still went to the range after such a good round.
Rory McIlroy (-1/T41): An electric five-birdie front nine of 31 got Rory on a roll. He stumbled from the 11th to come home in a disappointing 38.
Ian Poulter (-1/T41): A spirited round of 71, recovering with two birdies in his last five holes.
Padraig Harrington (+3/T64): Three bogeys and a double on the home hole. He went straight to the range after play.
Jazz Janewattananond (+3/T64): A six-bogey round was never what Jazz was looking for and he finished his day on the range.
One final thought before the last round of the final major of 2021: I have given at least one lesson a day to all 10 of my players here in Sandwich. How many lessons have the golfing Gulf News readers had over the past 12 months, let alone in the last six days?
Have a lesson once a week over the summer: That should be the message readers take away from this blog. Pop into your nearest academy, I myself have three in Dubai at Emirates Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates. Then you will be ready and sharp for the start of the UAE golf season in September. You will not regret it!
We will soon know the 2021 Open champion, and my tip to win? Well, you cannot expect me to choose a non-Peter Cowen player, can you?
Only those within five shots of the lead have a chance to take home the Claret Jug in my opinion - there are just too many good players in and around the top of the leaderboard.