The Open Championship updated odds: Can Irish amateur hold on?
The Open Championship has been forced into an extra day for only the second time in its 144 year history after weather deemed the course unplayable. The last time was when legendary Spaniard Seve Ballesteros claimed the crown back in 1988 at Royal Lytham & St Annes for the last of his five Majors.
However, this year, a very different type of player tops the pile going into the final stage, Irish amateur Paul Dunne (16/1 chance), who shares the lead with established stars Jason Day (19/5) and former winner Louis Oosthuizen (18/5) on 12 under.
Dunne, 22, said ahead of the fourth and final round: “I’m not really going to think about winning or where I’m going to finish until the last few holes.
“I don’t see why [an amateur could not win a Major]. I’m well capable of shooting the score that I need to win if everyone else doesn’t play their best.”
Unfortunately for Dunne, if he were to go on and become the first amateur to win since 1930, he will be unable to pick up the £1,150,000 prize, only lift the cup, as are the rules of the competition.
One player right on his heels, though, happens to be Grand Slam-chasing Jordan Spieth, who is the favourite with Coral at 12/5 to win his third Major this year, after claiming the Masters and US Open.
The 21-year-old American hit a terrific round of 66 to go one shot behind, and is in fourth place on his own.
“I recognise what’s at stake,” he said. “But ‘free-rolling’ is the phrase I’d use [to describe his attitude]. I’m going into the final round with plenty of confidence and comfort, which frees me up a little bit to take extra chances.”
There are still a number of stars in the hunt to the famous jug, after a fantastic round three on Sunday that saw the first place spot change hands.
Double champion Padraig Harrington (22/1) is just one shot behind Spieth on his own on -10, while nine are a stroke behind. The likes of Sergio Garcia (22/1), Justin Rose (20/1), Adam Scott (20/1), Zach Johnson (28/1), Danny Willett (45/1), who briefly held first place, and another amateur Jordan Niebrugge (150/1) are on nine under.
-12 J Day (Aus), P Dunne (Ire) (a), L Oosthuizen (SA)
-11 J Spieth (USA)
-10 P Harrington (Ire)
-9 S Garcia (Spa), R Goosen (SA), Z Johnson (USA), M Leishman (Aus), J Niebrugge (USA) (a), J Rose (Eng), A Scott (Aus), R Streb (USA), D Willett (Eng)
-8 E Pepperell (Eng)
-7 R Fowler (USA), D Johnson (USA), A Wall (Eng), M Warren (Sco)
13:30 D Johnson and Willett
13:40 Scott and Streb
13:50 Goosen and Rose
14:00 Garcia and Niebrugge
14:10 Harrington and Leishman
14:20 Day and Spieth
14:30 Dunne and Oosthuizen