ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Former UNLV golfer Adam Scott shot a 2-under 70 in the third round of the British Open on Sunday, leaving him three strokes behind co-leaders Paul Dunne, Louis Oosthuisen and Jason Day heading into Monday‘s final round at St. Andrews.
After carding a 1-under 35 on the front nine, Scott birdied the par-3 11th hole and par-4 13th before three-putting the par-4 17th for his first bogey since Thursday‘s opening round. At 9-under for the tournament, the former Rebel stands tied for sixth place.
"I was slightly off-rhythm in my swing today," Scott said, citing Saturday‘s rain-delayed second-round as a possible reason. "It was frustrating because shots were there to be had."
Despite 15 minutes of light rain showers in the morning and wind speeds of eight to 10 mph, Sunday weather conditions at the Old Course were by far the most benign of the tournament. The 80-man field responded accordingly, posting an average round of 69.7.
Scott said Sunday‘s conditions made St. Andrews one of the most "accessible" courses for scoring at a major championship he could remember in his 15-year career.
"It‘s just that kind of course, when the wind is down you can really scramble," he said.
But after completing his second round on Friday and not playing at all on Saturday, Scott said tightness in his swing on Sunday resulted in "several" shots at the green landing outside of 10 feet from the hole. Despite hitting 15 of 16 fairways and 17 of 18 greens in regulation, the former Rebel had two three-putts on Sunday compared to just one in his first two rounds combined.
With 14 players at 9-under or better heading into Monday‘s final round, the 34-year-old Australia native said he‘ll need a smoother swing and plenty of luck to hoist the Claret Jug for the first time.
Scott said he expects rain and light winds in Monday‘s forecast to bring another day of low scores for the final round.
"Certainly from my position to come out on top I would need a special round," Scott said. "I have to get off to a quick start because it’s going to be a shootout tomorrow."
Summerlin resident Kevin Na also shot a 2-under 70 on Sunday. The 31-year-old posted birdies on the par-4 third hole, the par-4 ninth, par-3 11th, par-4 12th and par-5 15th. But three putt-bogeys on the par-4 second, par-4 10th and par-4 17th left Na at 4-under for the tournament — eight strokes off the leaders.
"It‘s hard to get momentum going when you have an off day like that," Na said. "It‘s the weirdest thing ever, you take a day off and the next day you‘re playing the third round of a major championship."
Na, paired with amateur Ollie Schniederjans, will begin his final round Monday at 2:20 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Scott, paired with Robert Streb, tees off at 5:40 a.m.