Vaughn Leads in South Africa
Clark, who holds a tight margin over Rose in the race for the money title, had two bogeys on his round but countered with an eagle on the last to regain some ground.
Rose started with a birdie on the par-5 second but ran into trouble on the following hole with a double-bogey. The South African Masters champion dropped another shot with a bogey on the 11th but birdied three of the last six holes to remain afoot.
Both golfers struggled early, but will battle until the end to decide the 2001-2002 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.
The title grants an invitation to the British Open, the World Golf Championships American Express Championship and the World Golf Championships NEC Invitational.
Vaughan got off to a quick start with an eagle on the first and added back-to-back birdies from the fifth. However, he made bogey twice on the front nine to make the turn at 2-under.
'It was a great start to get an eagle on the first, but then I three-putted twice on the front nine and it was a bit disappointing to turn on 2-under,' said Vaughan.
The 26-year-old rebounded on the inward nine at the Leopard Creek Country Club, picking up shots on all three of the remaining par-5s. But his most important hole was the 10th where he saved par after blasting out of a bunker.
'The key hole for me was 10. I made an unbelievable save after being plugged in the bunker. After making that, I managed to play my back nine quite nicely,' said Vaughan. 'Had I hit bogey there, it could have all been all so different. It's very difficult to concentrate in this heat.'
After the bunker shot, Vaughan eagled the 13th and added his third eagle of the day on the last hole.
Vaughan, a three-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, posted his best result this season at the Zimbabwe Open where he finished second to Darren Fichardt.
'I've been trying too hard and the results just haven't come, so I'm trying not to force it,' he said. 'It's been a very frustrating season for me, but I've come here intent on playing more relaxed.'
Nic Henning of South Africa finished alongside Scotland's Doug McGuigan at 6-under 66 while four players were a shot further back, including American Bruce Vaughan. He was joined by the South African pair of Trevor Immelman and Titch Moore and England's Lee Slattery.
The Tour Championship features a field of 72 professionals and three amateurs.
Full-field scores from the South African Tour Championship
Schauffele just fine being the underdog
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.
Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.
Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.
“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”
Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.
“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”
Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1
Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.
So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.
Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.
Jordan Spieth: 7/4
Xander Schauffele: 5/1
Kevin Kisner: 11/2
Tiger Woods: 14/1
Francesco Molinari: 14/1
Rory McIlroy: 14/1
Kevin Chappell: 20/1
Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1
Alex Noren: 25/1
Zach Johnson: 30/1
Justin Rose: 30/1
Matt Kuchar: 40/1
Webb Simpson: 50/1
Adam Scott: 80/1
Tony Finau: 80/1
Charley Hoffman: 100/1
Austin Cook: 100/1
Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.
One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.
McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.
“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”
McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.
“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”
Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.
Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.
“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”
One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.
After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.
“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”
Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.
This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.
“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”