Whatever happens in the final round, South Africa’s Zander Lombard will have a shot to remember for a lifetime after he holed his wedge approach to the 18th for eagle in the third round of The Open at Carnoustie Golf Links.
“I said to my caddie walking down the fairway after a good drive – let’s have a finish for the crowds at least,” said Lombard.
“I had 132 yards, and I hit a gap wedge. A two on the 18th hole at The Open on Saturday was pretty special.”
The eagle helped salvage a level par round of 71 for Lombard as he ended on four-under. Depending on the weather on Sunday, the 23-year-old’s final hole exploits mean he may just have a remote chance of victory on day four. Countryman Erik van Rooyen, 28, also shot 71 and is tied with Lombard on four-under.
The lead is held by a trio of Americans on nine-under as defending champion Jordan Spieth (65), Xander Schauffele (67) and Kevin Kisner (68) are tied at the top.
The third round presented the best scoring conditions of the week so far, with England’s Justin Rose recording the best score of the day with a seven-under 64.
Lombard acknowledged that he did not take advantage of the good scoring conditions.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of work to be done. The boys tore up the course a bit today. I just couldn’t get it going.
“I was never in trouble, but I was never really scaring the hole. I was just too far from the pins really. It was a bit tricky out there. There are a lot of positives to take from today and come back tomorrow.”
Van Rooyen, meanwhile, said he was optimistic about his chances in the final round.
“I just need to go out tomorrow and shoot six, seven, or eight-under, and put some pressure on the leaders. That would be awesome,” said Van Rooyen.
“There’s one more round, and we’re going to go fight.”