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The 151st Open

Talking Points


What to look out for on Championship Sunday

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Fifty-four holes down. Eighteen to go. A clear leader. But nothing tests the nerves quite like an Open Sunday.

A casual look at the leaderboard may lead to thoughts that Brian Harman, five shots clear after a three-under round of 69 took him to 12-under-par, has one hand on the Claret Jug.

Rarely is life that simple in the final round of a major, however.

Here are five things to look out for on a dramatic day…

Will Harman hold on?

Brian Harman has held a final day lead in a major once before, at the 2017 US Open.

It was a more slender advantage on that occasion, just a single shot from a trio including Brooks Koepka, who stormed to victory.

Harman has a significantly bigger buffer this time around but it may be reduced by the time he tees off alongside Cameron Young at 2:15pm, particularly if someone can match or threaten Jon Rahm’s record-breaking 63.

After two early bogeys on Saturday, Harman looked nerveless thereafter and he will hope to retain a similar temperament over what could be the biggest round of his life.

Does Young have another final day surge in him?

Cameron Young ended up within a whisker of landing The 150th Open, finishing just a shot behind his namesake Cameron Smith after a final day 65.

Young has steadily improved with each day at Royal Liverpool, backing up a three-under-par 68 on Friday with a 66 in his third round to climb to second and earn a place in the final group.

He will fancy his chances of applying scoreboard pressure to Harman and knows a good start is crucial.

“We're going to plan on the same plan of attack as the last few days and see where we are after a few holes,” he said.

“With the lead he [Harman] has right now, it's not necessarily going to be up to me. It's just really time for me to focus on myself and see where that gets me.”

What will the final two holes bring?

The 17th and 18th offer a fascinating subplot to the conclusion of The 151st Open.

Both have posed plenty of challenges all week, with scores ranging from 1 to 6 at Little Eye and 3 to 10 down the last.

It all adds up to meaning no lead will be safe heading to the penultimate tee, while the internal out of bounds to the right on 18 could yet come into play.

Links golf tests the golfer’s resolve and intuition as much as it challenges their fitness and skill – and nowhere will that be truer than the final two holes of Championship Sunday.

Who will be the leading Englishman?

After Friday’s action, we speculated as to whether Alex Fitzpatrick would be the highest-placed finisher in his family.

A Saturday 65 has changed that question to whether he could finish as the best Englishman at his maiden Open.

Alex Fitzpatrick during day three at The 151st Open

Fitzpatrick will begin on four-under-par, a shot behind Tommy Fleetwood, who was the only player in the top 16 not to shoot under-par on day three.

Royal Liverpool’s own Matthew Jordan continued his memorable week with his second three-under round and will start on that score, while Matt Fitzpatrick is a shot further back.

Tyrrell Hatton and Richard Bland are also in the red on one-under.

Where will Scheffler finish?

Nineteen consecutive top-12 finishes. Seven of those in the top five. Scottie Scheffler arrived at Hoylake looking to extend a remarkable run of consistency.

But barring the occasional moment of genius showing just why he is the top ranked player in the world, Scheffler has not quite got to grips with the unique links challenges afforded by Royal Liverpool.

A one-over-par 72 on Saturday will see him enter his final round on four-over-par, alongside Brooks Koepka in an intriguing final day Feature Group.

Either one is more than capable of some Sunday morning magic and both will still feel they can end in the red, but this is not how Scheffler planned on ending an otherwise strong year in the majors.

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