Five-time British Open champion Tom Watson left the Old Course stage one last time as the sun set Friday on St. Andrews. Watson cleared the way for an exciting finish, but first, the field has to be whittled down when play resumes on Saturday.
Here are the five things we’re looking for tomorrow on Day 3 of the British Open:
1. The cut: When play wraps up on Saturday morning, the cut will be made with the top 70 players and ties continuing on to Round 3. The cut looks set for even-par 144 right now, but with fierce winds expected from the outset of play, there’s a very outside chance the cut could slip another shot.
2. The weather: The nasty wind gusts forecast through the day on Friday never materialized in the way they were expected, making conditions difficult but playable. Similar winds are forecast for Saturday after heavy rains again drench the Old Course. If the wind appears from the restart of play, it could influence the cut.
3. The Johnson, Spieth and Matsuyama three-ball: Johnson leads the tournament at 10-under par with four-and-a-half holes to play. Can he hang on to the lead? Hideki Matsuyama made eight birdies in 14 completed holes. Can he add to that tally? Jordan Spieth is even par in the fairway on the par-5 14th. Will he make up a few strokes on Johnson?
[Slideshow: Round 2 highlights]
4. The pace of play: When the second round completes and the cut is made, players will be grouped in threes for the third round. That may mean a pace of play that feels more like the first two rounds instead of how weekend pairings typically move. For faster players, that may be a source of aggravation.
5. The amateurs: Irishman and Jordan Spieth look-a-like Paul Dunne (-6) is within a handful of shots of the lead, while American Jordan Niebrugge (-4) is on the outskirts of contention. Can either of them push up the leaderboard in the third round and challenge to be the first amateur winner of the Claret Jug since Bobby Jones in 1930?