Brandt Snedeker takes a one-stroke lead over Adam Scott into today’s third round at the British Open, with Tiger Woods four shots behind.
Snedeker shot a 6-under-par 64 yesterday to reach 10 under at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in northwest England. The 31-year-old American’s 36-hole total of 130 tied the Open record set by Nick Faldo at Muirfield in Scotland in 1992. His 64 also equaled the tournament mark for Lytham shared by Tom Lehman in 1996 and Scott in the first round.
“Typically when I get going I have no problem going low,” said Snedeker, who’s yet to make a bogey. “I feel good. I played pretty well the first two days.”
Scott, from Australia, is 9 under after shooting 67 yesterday, with Woods in third place at 6 under following a 67 in which he birdied two of the final three holes, including one from a greenside bunker on No. 18.
“I’m very pleased at where I’m at,” Woods, seeking his 15th major title and first in four years, told reporters. “We’re at the halfway point and I’m right in the mix.”
Snedeker and Scott tee off at 3:20 p.m. local time, ten minutes after Woods and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen. Among those on the course, Masters champion Bubba Watson is even par through four holes and even for the tournament.
Snedeker, who missed the cut in his three previous appearances in golf’s oldest major championship, finished the second round with six birdies. The Nashville, Tennessee, native hasn’t hit any of the 206 bunkers on the course.
“To hit it in no bunkers around here you have to get lucky,” he said. “I don’t expect that stat to hold up over the weekend.”
Scott was even par through nine holes yesterday before making two straight birdies. After six pars, he had a final birdie to complete his 67.
“Very pleased with the round today,” he said. “I didn’t take any unnecessary risks and kept the ball in play pretty well. Kind of stress free.”
Woods was 2 under after 10 holes yesterday before making his only bogey at the 11th. He rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 16, then chipped in from the sand on the 18th for another birdie.
“I was on the upslope,” Woods said. “So just threw it up there. I played about a cup outside the left and it landed on my spot and rolled to the right.”
Olesen closed with two birdies for a 66 that moved him into fourth place at 5 under. The 22-year-old is looking forward to being paired with Woods, who he said was his idol.
“I walked down 18, I knew if I made a birdie here I had a chance to play with Tiger,” Olesen said. “That was amazing.”
Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, the 1999 champion; Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell; Americans Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner, and South Africa’s Thomas Aiken are at 4 under. Another South African, three-time major champion Ernie Els, is 3 under.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy is 3 over through 11 holes in his round to fall to 5 over. U.S. PGA Champion Keegan Bradley shot 68 today and England’s Lee Westwood had 71.