Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

The Open Final Round Live: Follow Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Darren Clarke and Tiger Woods

The 2014 Open reaches its climax at Royal Liverpool today

HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a pitch shot on the 17th hole during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a pitch shot on the 17th hole during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks with caddie J.P. Fitzgerald during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches a shot during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland loks down the 18th hole with caddie J.P. Fitzgerald during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 17th hole during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 17th hole during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland waits on the 18th tee during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland waves to the gallery on the 18th green after a four-under par 68 during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts on the 3rd green during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during day three of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States lines up a putt during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks down the 6th hole during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Ryan Moore of the United States hits his 4th shot on the 7th hole during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Justin Rose of England chats with caddie Mark Fulcher during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States and Jordan Spieth of the United States walk together during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States putts on the 14th green during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks with Dustin Johnson of the United States (L) during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Tom Watson of the United States tees offduring the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States shares a joke with Jordan Spieth of the United States (R) during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
USA's John Daly during day two of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Jin Jeong of Korea walks with his caddie during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Martin Kaymer of Germany looks for his golf ball in a bush on the seventh hole during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Japanese fans support their favourite golfers during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Lee Westwood of England waits on the ninth tee during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: A packed grandstand near the fifth hole during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Webb Simpson of the United States lines up a shot from a bunker on the seventh hole during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Martin Kaymer of Germany hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Ernie Els of South Africa waits on the ninth tee during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Phil Mickelson of the United States plays his tee shot on the ninth hole during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Justin Rose of England plays from the deep rough on the fourth hole during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: An octopus ornament is seen on the fifth hole during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Martin Kaymer of Germany leaps in the air on the seventh hole during the second round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 18, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
USA's Tiger Woods tees off the 8th during day one of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke with his caddie on the 5th tee during day one of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke on the 5th tee during day one of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy tees off the 4th during day one of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Tiger Woods of the United States hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Tiger Woods of the United States lines up on the 3rd green during the first round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Marc Leishman of Australia hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Branden Grace of South Africa tees off on the 4th hole during the first round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Ben Martin of the United States tees off on the 4th hole during the first round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland waits on the practice ground during the first round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 17: David Duval of the United States waits on the first tee during the first round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Rory McIlroy (L) of Northern Ireland takes a bank note in celebration of winning a bet against Darren Clarke (R) after their practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Fans in colourful outfits during day three of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
A golf fan with a novelty hat during practice day four of the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Henrik Stenson of Sweden answers questions from the media during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Hunter Mahan of the United States walks with his caddie during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Luke Donald of England and his Coach Chuck Cook walk together during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Matteo Manassero (l) of Italy and Ross Fisher of England look on during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Jordan Spieth of the United States signs an autograph during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Justin Rose of England hits from a bunker during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Ross Fisher of England signs autographs during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Cameron Tringale of the United States hits from a bunker during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Francesco Molinari of Italy hits from a bunker watched by Ross Fisher of England during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Justin Rose of England tees off during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Sergio Garcia of Spain walks with girlfriend Katharina Boehm during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Martin Kaymer of Germany waits on a tee during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Paul Casey of England walks with his caddie during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland laughs with Darren Clarke after their practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Hunter Mahan of the United States chats with his Coach Sean Foley during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland signs autographs during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Rory McIlroy (L) of Northern Ireland takes a bank note in celebration of winning a bet against Darren Clarke (R) after their practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland signs autographs for fans during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland looks on during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland signs autographs for fans during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy can win £975,000 with victory in the 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool today, but his father would also have another reason to celebrate.

Scroll down to see live leaderboard

Rory McIlroy dreamt about seeing name on trophy 

Tiger Woods believes he can win but stats suggest otherwise 

Phil Mickelson's confidence is a sign of the times

Tiger Woods back in the game with history on his side 

Padraig Harrington set to come off the ropes again 

Justin Rose ready to bloom due to growing stature after big victories 

Ian Poulter has no fear of playing pain game 

Adam Scott on form and searching for more major rewards 

Rory McIlroy in money at Open after wager win 

 

Ten years ago 25-year-old McIlroy's dad Gerry and three friends each placed a £100 bet at odds of 500/1 that his son would become Open champion before he turned 26.

That would mean a windfall of £200,000 in total for the quartet if McIlroy can turn a six-shot lead into the third major title of his career.

The Northern Irishman has won each of his two majors by eight shots, the first in the US Open at Congressional in 2011 and the second in the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island the following year.

However, in 2011 McIlroy also took a four-shot lead into the final round of the Masters at Augusta before collapsing to a closing 80, while he himself won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this year from seven shots behind with 18 holes remaining.

 

How Rory ruled the roost on Day Three

The predicted thunderstorms failed to materialise, but Rory McIlroy provided the fireworks to take a stranglehold on the 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. A "significant risk" of storms and an amber weather warning led the R&A to employ a two-tee start for the first time in championship history on Saturday, with play getting under way at 9am from the first and 10th tee.

But after a spell of heavy rain ended in time for the leaders to tee off, McIlroy repelled a spirited challenge from fellow 25-year-old Rickie Fowler with two stunning eagles in the last three holes.

A round of 68 gave McIlroy a 16-under-par total of 200 - just two shots outside the all-time Open record set by Tom Lehman in 1996 - and a six-shot lead over Fowler, who also returned a 68. Spain's Sergio Garcia and American Dustin Johnson were a shot further back on nine under.

McIlroy will now attempt to become the second wire-to-wire winner of a major in succession after Martin Kaymer won the US Open at Pinehurst last month by eight shots, the same margin by which McIlroy won the 2011 US Open and 2012 US PGA Championship.

And if the Northern Irishman succeeds in lifting the Claret Jug, the winner of the Open will have completed three legs of the career grand slam for the second year running.

Phil Mickelson's victory at Muirfield means he needs to win the US Open to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only men to have won all four majors.

For McIlroy, the Masters would be the only trophy missing from his collection, the tournament he led by four going into the final round in 2011 only to collapse to a closing 80.

McIlroy also led the 2010 Open at St Andrews after an opening 63 only to shoot 80 in the second round in atrocious conditions. Four years on he benefited from being on the right side of the draw with an early start on Thursday and late start on Friday, a day which had caused him so many problems this season.

In 2014 he had been 50 under par in the first round and nine over in the second until Friday's six-under 66 saw him match Woods' halfway total of 132 from 2006.

The 72 players who made the halfway cut - including Woods right on the mark of two over par - had been sent out in groups of three rather than two, with defending champion Mickelson alongside past and present US PGA champions Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley in the first match out.

McIlroy, looking to become just the third man in the modern era after Woods and Nicklaus to win three majors by the age of 25, began his third round just after 11am and immediately saw his four-shot advantage cut in half.

The former world number one, who had carded consecutive rounds of 66, found a greenside bunker with his approach to the first and a poor escape led to just his second bogey of the week, while playing partner Dustin Johnson holed from three feet for birdie.

With heavy rain having stopped by the time the leaders teed off, Johnson was not the only player to take advantage of the softer greens, Fowler picking up four birdies in his first six holes before dropping a shot on the seventh.

McIlroy registered his first birdie of the day by two-putting the par-five fifth to get back to 12 under and crucially saved par from 20 feet on the seventh after finding heavy rough off the tee and only being able to hack out onto the fairway.

At that stage he led by three from Fowler - the only player to finish in the top five in both majors this season - but a thrilling duel between the 2007 Walker Cup rivals was about to develop.

McIlroy saved par on the ninth as well after pulling his tee shot left of the green, where it hit a buggy-mounted camera and bounced off the leg of the cameraman.

After making sure the man was unhurt, the buggy was moved and McIlroy pitched to eight feet and rolled in the putt, while up ahead Fowler birdied the 10th and 11th before McIlroy responded from seven feet on the 11th.

Fowler then picked up his seventh birdie of the day, and third in a row, from five feet on the 12th and that was soon good enough for a share of the lead when McIlroy bogeyed the same hole after twice tangling with the heavy rough.

It was Fowler's turn to find trouble off the tee and bogey the 14th and McIlroy was suddenly two ahead once more when he holed from 35 feet for an unlikely birdie on the 14th.

Two ahead became five ahead in the space of 15 minutes on the par-five 16th, Fowler taking six after a poor drive and McIlroy holing from 18 feet for an eagle after a superb drive and towering long-iron approach.

Fowler, Garcia and McIlroy all bogeyed the 17th from similar spots left of the green, but while Garcia parred the last and Fowler made birdie, McIlroy stamped his authority on the event with another eagle from 10 feet.

 

Tiger Woods rues missed opportunities

Three-time Open champion Tiger Woods admits he is still making too many mistakes as he continues his comeback from back surgery.

The American's 73 on the third day of the 143rd Open Championship, for a three-over total, was only his fifth competitive round since an operation in March.

He opened with successive birdies, having begun at the par-five 10th due to the R&A's decision to hold a two-tee start because of the threat of bad weather, but could not maintain that momentum and a second nine of 38 included a triple-bogey seven after losing his ball in a gorse bush, as well as a double-bogey six.

"I've made a lot of mistakes. I've made two doubles and two triples (this week) but on top of that I missed a lot of shots for opportunities for birdies and consequently I'm three over par," Woods said.

"I'm starting to get the flow of the round, the flow of playing again, but still I've just made too many mistakes.

"You can't run up high scores like that and expect to contend, especially when the conditions are this benign.

"Most of the scores are three under par or better. I certainly didn't do that."

Woods wore a black ribbon, as did many of the players, in memory of coach Bob Torrance, father of Ryder Cup-winning captain Sam, who died of cancer on Friday.

"I've known him a lot over the years, even from my amateur days when I came over here. He's been fantastic to me," Woods added.

"We've had a lot of great conversations about golf. It was always fun picking his brain about the game, how it's evolved and how he believes it should be played.

"I'm going to miss him very much."

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