Steel Holds Two-Shot Cushion
The 30-year old Steel, born in Malaysia but playing out of Birmingham, Ala., carded a ChampionsGate National course record 8-under par 64 and leads Texan Andrew Sanders by two shots heading into Tuesday's second round. Dave Levesque of Quebec City is the top Canadian, five strokes back.
A total of 240 golfers from 16 countries, including former U.S. Amateur champions Jeff Quinney (2000) and Hank Kuehne (1998), are trying to earn one of 20 exempt and 10 non-exempt cards for the 2002 Canadian Tour season. Kuehne is three shots back of Steel, while Quinney fired an even-par 72.
Each hopeful will play two rounds at both Greg Norman-designed International and National courses. The low 60 scores plus ties will take on the International course in Friday's final round.
Bohn suggested to Steel that he try to land membership status on the Canadian Tour after Steel was eliminated in the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying last fall. Bohn gained worldwide attention when he carded a 13-under 58 at last year's season-ending Bayer Championship
'I had a good talk with Jason, and he said I would enjoy playing here,' admitted Steel, who won the 1997 NIKE (now Buy.com) Tour Boise Open. 'I have heard nothing but good things about the Tour and I thought it would be a good option for me.'
If how he played Monday is any indication, the decision seems to be a wise one. Thanks in part to two chips that found the bottom of the cup, Steel is in ideal shape heading into the second round.
'I think the course was there for the taking today, there was virtually no wind,' he added. 'But the International (course) is a whole different animal. I'll try to keep playing the way I have been and attack it when I can.'
Sanders, 23, a three-time All-American at the University of Houston, drained two 45-foot putts and grabbed eagle on the National's par-4 seventh hole when his approach shot from 139 yards out dropped into the cup.
'I got a couple of good breaks today, but I played well enough to put myself in position to get those breaks,' said Sanders. 'It is a long tournament, but by playing well today I can kind of slip into cruise control and not force anything. I won't play conservative, though-it's not my game and it will come back to hurt me.'
The day also featured a hole-in-one when Clint Jensen of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., aced the 200-yard par-3 fif5th hole on the International.
'I didn't really see it ... I got up on the green and saw my ball mark about six feet from the pin,' said the 26-year-old, who eventually settled for a 1-over 73 on the day. 'I said to myself 'I don't think it made it to the back bunker, so I must have holed it'.'
The Canadian Tour kicks off its U.S. swing March 7-10 with the inaugural Texas Classic in Houston.
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.