Loughnane Leads Royal Swazi Sun Open
'The summer tour was a long, hard slog for me,' said Loughnane, who failed to make the cut in his last six starts.
'Don't get me wrong. I worked hard during the summer and I must admit it's a pleasant surprise for me to be leading after two solid rounds.'
Loughnane got his round going early and opened with a birdie on the par-4 10th. He followed with birdies at the two par-5s, Nos. 12 and 17, and the par-4 15th for an outward nine of 32.
He collected another four birdies on the front nine, but lost two shots with bogeys at the second and the eighth, both par-4s.
'I'm playing well,' said Loughnane, who moved to Scotland last year with his family to take up a teaching position.
'I'm at ease with my swing and am striking the ball consistently, driving it well - something that just didn't happen during the summer tour.
'Towards the end of the summer tour, I started working with my sister, a Sport Psychologist, who lives in Australia. She recommended I do more physical exercise to relax and studying - anything other than golf - to improve my focus. Both of which are paying off for me right now.'
The avid flyer won the Zambia Open in 1997 and repeated the feat in 2000. His best finish last season, a joint 12th spot in the Platinum Classic, was pivotal to secure the 119th spot on the final Order of Merit and retain his membership status for the 2002-2003 Sunshine Tour.
But for the moment the 32-year-old is simply enjoying the luxury of two solid rounds.
Henning shared the experience of playing well. He collected six birdies, an eagle and two bogeys on his way to a 66 today.
'The course is playing the longest that I can remember,' said Henning, who's lowest score at the Royal Swazi Sun course was a 64 that came in the final round of the Swazi Open in 1993.
'They have had some wet weather and the rough is quite thick. But I am satisfied with how I am playing at the moment.'
The round would not be complete without mention of the first round leader, Thomas Aiken's nailbiting survival through the halfway cut. The 18-year old, who took the lead yesterday with a 66, followed with a disappointing 79 and just made it to the weekend at 1-over-par.
Tour Championship winner, Nic Lawrence was not as fortunate and his second round 80 proved too costly. At 4-over-par Lawrence will be enjoying the Spa rather than the course at the Royal Swazi Sun Hotel.
Watch: All of Tiger's Rd. 3 birdies at The Open
Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.
Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.
No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.
No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.
No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.
No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.
No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.
And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.
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Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.
Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.
Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.
After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.
“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”
Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).
It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.
Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage
NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:
Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)
Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)
8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.
Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)
Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.
1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.