Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Inconsistency continues to haunt Fowler

Rickie Fowler hit four birdies in his first 10 holes at the Open

It was a case of what might have been for all the early starters in the third round of the Open at Royal Lytham - but especially for American Ryder Cup star Rickie Fowler.

Fowler made the halfway cut right on the mark of three over par and was still two over for the championship after 12 holes of his round, but the bare statistics did not tell the full story.

Four birdies in his first 10 holes in perfect conditions took Fowler's tally for the week to 12, one more than halfway leader Brandt Snedeker.

However, while Snedeker had also amazingly not carded a single bogey or found even one of Lytham's 206 bunkers to lie 10 under, Fowler had regularly found trouble to ruin his hopes of contending for a first major title.

The 23-year-old, who won his first PGA Tour title earlier this season, had carded seven bogeys, two double bogeys and one triple bogey, with the double bogeys coming on the 18th on Friday and eighth hole this time out.

Some tough pin positions were helping to keep the scoring in check, with world number three Lee Westwood level par for his round and three over for the tournament with two holes to play.

Five-time champion Tom Watson, 62, playing alongside Westwood after extending his own record of being the oldest player to make the cut in the Open, was six over for the day after running up three double bogeys.

Snedeker held a one-shot lead over Adam Scott after equalling the lowest halfway total in Open history with rounds of 66 and 64, with Tiger Woods four off the lead after holing a bunker shot for birdie on the 18th on Friday.

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