THE OPEN LIVE: All the action as it happens from the third round at Royal Lytham
13:09 GMT, 21 July 2012
THE OPEN ESSENTIALS
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Click here for a hole-by-hole guide
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Welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Seve Ballesteros won the Claret Jug twice here and David Duval triumphed the last time the oldest major was played on this stretch of the Fylde coast (2001).
Tiger Woods is the bookies' favourite this week, and has put himself in contention after the opening two rounds of the tournament.
Brandt Snedeker and Adam Scott were leading the play ahead of what should be a thrilling weekend at Lytham.
Stick with us and we'll bring you the latest news, live scores and all the best pictures. And if you want to get in touch, leave a comment on the section at the bottom of the page or email [email protected]
2.07 Ah, a corker from Padraig Harrington on the last. A soaring, fading mid-iron taking on the dangerous pin location at the back of the green, spinning back towards the cup and leaving him eight feet or so for a closing birdie.
2.05 Louis lets a shot go at the fifth after sliding his par putt from 15 feet past the cup.
2.02 Now I could watch this all day: Ernie Els hitting balls on the practice range. How does he hit the ball so far with such little effort Magic. The three-time major champion and 2002 Open winner tees off at 2.40.
2.00 Poulter completes a fine front nine by rattling in his first birdie putt of the day from 15 feet. Eight consecutive pars followed by a bird. The Englishman is into the red numbers and is not yet out of the running.
1.59 Oosthuizen continues to creep into contention, his second birdie in the opening four holes drags him to two under par and up the leaderboard again.
1.55 A few more birdies keep things bubbling nicely just under the first page of the leaderboard. Kyle Stanley is one under through two holes, while Calcavecchia takes advantage of a superb tee shot by holing out from five feet on the first. Both Americans are two under for the tournament.
1.51 Watson putting down the hill on the eighth green from 20 feet… and he makes it! Good ol' Bubba from Bagdad is enjoying a fine afternoon, his third birdie of the day taking him to two under for the round and the tournament. A few fireworks on the back nine and he's right in this.
1.45 Right, things are about to get serious. The boys under par are now starting their rounds, beginning with 1989 winner Mark Calcavecchia and Argentina's Andres Romero. Argentine golfers are rare beasts, and it's a stinker of a first shot for this one as he stuffs his tee shot into a deep greenside bunker.
1.39 The pin position on the 357-yard 13th is rather inviting today for the longest hitters, and one man not afraid to have a dash with the big stick is McIlroy. He may be a wee lad but the Ulsterman gives his ball an almighty crack – this one's off line though and he finds the rough to the right of the green.
1.30 Vijay Singh, the former Masters and US PGA champion, is another who has reason to be cheerful about his day's work. The big Fijian comes home in 68 blows to sit level par overall. But that's only good enough for a tie for 28th right now.
1.17 Marvellous blue skies and beaming sunshine at Lytham this afternoon, a fine day for the Blackpool beach I dare say. The British seaside in the sun – is there any better place to be Playing links golf by the British seaside in the sun, perhaps.
Big hitter: Bubba Watson in action during day three at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club
1.10 King Louis Oosthuizen is reckoned by many to be the king of the swingers, but he proves his putting stroke is just as silky smooth as his long game by holing a beautiful 30-footer to kick-start his third round with a birdie on the first. The 2010 champion is one under overall.
1.08 Birdie for Bubba! Well that's a real bonus for Watson, holing from off the green on the short fifth after coming up short with his eight-iron approach. More steady stuff from Poulter, a fifth consecutive par.
1.04 A sprinkling of Spanish magic from Miguel Angel Jimenez in the best spirit of Seve, twice champion at Lytham. The wily old so-and-so somehow sticks his ball six feet from the pin despite hacking out of some seriously thick rough way back on the fourth hole.
12.59 Ach, Bubba drops back to level for the day after missing his par putt from five feet. Poulter's birdie putt whistles past the cup.
12.55 They may just be a little too far back to seriously contend this weekend – and note that I said 'may' there – but you could do worse than following Poulter and Watson round today. Poulter has already made one miraculous par scramble from a fairway bunker on the third and is now pin high, 20 feet from the pin with his approach to the fourth. Bubba, meanwhile, finds sand with his short iron.
12.45 Rory McIlroy's woes are showing no signs of easing – the Northern Irishman has covered the front nine in 37 strokes – three over par – after bogeys at the fourth, fifth and eighth. Rory is five over par for the championship. Not what he had in mind after a fine opening 67.
Another who has flattered to deceive with a barn-storming opening round is big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, who also sits at five over par having shot a brilliant five-under 65 to start. Funny old game, isn't it
Keep out of that thick stuff: Englishman Greg Owen in action amid the fearsome rough
12.40 A fine third round comes to an end for another reigning major champion – US PGA winner Keegan Bradley firing a 68 to sit at one over par.
12.35 Big Bubba Watson, the reigning Masters champion, is making an early move. A towering, 190-yard seven-iron off the first tee sets up a simple birdie and the American bomber leaps into red numbers for both his round and the championship. His playing partner today is Ian Poulter, and the pair exchange pleasantries on the way to the green, Bubba asking Poulter where he lives. How quaint.
12.25 Here's a run-down of the day's most significant tee times as we get down to the meat of the third day at Royal Lytham. You can full list of tee times at the top of this article.
13:05 Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Martin Laird (Sco)
13:35 Simon Khan (Eng)
14:10 Simon Dyson (Eng)
14:30 Luke Donald (Eng)
14:40 Ernie Els (SA)
14:50 Graeme McDowell (NIre)
15:00 Paul Lawrie (Sco)
15:10 Tiger Woods (US),
15:20 Adam Scott (Aus), Brandt Snedeker (US)
12.15 The action has been underway since eight this morning, albeit featuring players who have left themselves with far too much to do to catch the leaders. Still, some of the game's big guns already have their feet up in the clubhouse having completed their third rounds.
Lee Westwood, much fancied this week yet again but sadly well off his usual best, shot a one-over-par 71 and lies four over for the championship. His playing partner, five-time champion Tom Watson, could only manage a 76 and is close to propping up the field on nine over. John Daly, the 1995 champion, is doing precisely that on 10 over after a 77.
Great American hope Rickie Fowler is level par after a 70, while Dutchman Joost Luiten broke par with a 69 and is the current clubhouse leader on two under. Expect that to change very soon.
Old master: Tom Watson tees off on the 14th during his third round at Lytham on Saturday
12.00 Afternoon all… and what an afternoon. The sun is shining at long last, just in time for moving day at the 141st Open Championship.
American Brandt Snedeker leads Aussie Adam Scott by one at 10 under par – he hasn't carded a five in two rounds, for goodness' sake – but there's a Tiger on the prowl. Woods' quest for a 15th major title is gathering pace and he lies just four strokes adrift.
There's also plenty to keep the home fans interested too, with Scot Paul Lawrie, the 1999 champion, level with Tiger and former US Open champion Graeme McDowell also in the hunt. The Ulsterman is six adrift on four under par.
Leading the way: Brandt Snedeker went into the weekend leading The Open at Lytham