Skip to main content
The 150th Open

What to look out for on Sunday


The chasing pack, the Silver Medal and will there be rain?

Cameron Smith

Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland might be Sunday's headliners but there is no shortage of quality support acts looking to muscle in and steal the limelight on the final day of The 150th Open. 

A glance down the leaderboard reveals a who’s who of the world’s best players, from the world number one to multiple major winners and even former Champion Golfers. 

On Saturday’s evidence, it will take something spectacular to prevent McIlroy or Hovland from claiming the Claret Jug but we have seen special comebacks before – as Paul Lawrie and Ernie Els can attest. 

Here is what you need to look out for on the final day. 

What will the weather do? 

As you might now know, predicting the Scottish weather is a tough task and all eyes will be on the sky on Sunday morning. 

Weather is a crucial factor in determining the Champion Golfer. More sun will bake the course and harden it even more, rain will soften it and allow players to attack the greens with spin, while wind is a lottery no player has all the answers for.

With rain scheduled in the morning, the early starters might well be able to take advantage of softer greens, while the later starters will be concerned with the forecast gusts of wind. 

Whatever happens, keep an eagle eye on the sky.

Smith to emulate Norman? 

Greg Norman is the last Australian to win The Open and his success at Turnberry in 1993 required a majestic final round 64. 

Cameron Smith might need something similar but the 28-year-old knows exactly how to shoot that score at St Andrews, having done so on Friday. 

Smith faltered to a 73 on Saturday but has the game and the temperament to shrug that off and go again, but the key lies in his putting.

He averaged 14 feet per hole on Friday, but on Saturday he struggled. If he finds his rhythm again, watch out. 

Scheffler lurking 

Scottie Scheffler might be the world number 1 but he admits he does not feel he quite gets the attention that lofty ranking merits. 

Low and behold, the Masters champion has progressed to 11-under-par and is just five strokes off the lead after three consistent, yet quiet rounds. 

Scheffler started with two 68s, the second coming in torrid early morning weather conditions, before backing that up with a 69 on Saturday. 

The 26-year-old is bidding to become just the third player in history to win at both Augusta National and St Andrews in the same year, following in the footsteps of Tiger Woods and Sir Nick Faldo. 

Scottie Scheffler

A fast start tomorrow will put pressure on the leaders, and if that happens then who knows what will follow. 

Dustin Johnson also threatened a birdie run on the front nine before flattening out but has shot low scores here before and has the quality to do so again. 

Cameron Young and Si Woo Kim might lack the CVs of those around them but have played beautifully all week and cannot be discounted. 

The long shots

Barring a collapse from those in front, it is unlikely those in single digits will truly threaten but we have seen enough miraculous comebacks before to count anyone out.

Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick fly the English flag seven shots back, while Adam Scott - 10 years on from being on the wrong side of Els’ historic comeback – will relish the opportunity to stage his own.

A shot further back is Jordan Spieth, the 2017 Champion Golfer who is more than capable of the sublime golf required, and Patrick Cantlay, who was well in contention before dropping three strokes down the back nine.

And then there’s Kevin Kisner. He might be nine strokes back but shot a best-of-the-day 65 on Saturday. Another of those tomorrow would see him in at 14-under-par, which would put the cat amongst the pigeons.

Silver Medal race hotting up

Filippo Celli has a three-stroke advantage in the amateur ranks and will hope to become just the second Italian, after Matteo Manassero, to win the Silver Medal.

The European Amateur Champion sunk four birdies in a one-under-par round of 71 to take the lead from Barclay Brown, who struggled on day three. Brown has already shot a 68 this week, so knows how to get it done, while the Cayman Islands’ Aaron Jarvis is back in contention at level-par and will start the day just four strokes back.

Sam Bairstow is almost certainly out of it after struggling to a Saturday 79 but he will strike the opening tee shot on the final day at 7.20am.