Three years after ending runner-up to Phil Mickelson within the Open Championship, Henrik Stenson has the prospect to show the tables and declare a primary main title at Royal Troon.
Stenson turned a one-shot in a single day deficit into an an identical benefit following a rollercoaster day which noticed the ultimate group separate themselves from the chasing pack and Rory McIlroy’s endurance snap – alongside together with his three wooden.
Trying to turn into the primary male Swedish participant to win a significant, Stenson carded a 3rd spherical of 68 to complete 12 beneath par, a shot forward of taking part in companion Mickelson, who at 46 can be the fourth oldest winner of any main and oldest within the Open since 1867.
American Invoice Haas was six pictures off the lead in third, with England’s Andrew Johnston – taking part in in solely his third main – one other shot again on 5 beneath.
After turning 40 in April, Stenson admitted time was working out in his bid for a maiden main, particularly after failing to problem in any of the final six and withdrawing from final month’s US Open on account of damage.
“This is a new opportunity and it would be massive to win the Open in Scotland,” the Ryder Cup star mentioned. “It is the one factor I’m in search of and it might be the icing on the cake.
“I do know Phil goes to maintain on making an attempt, he is an important competitor and one of many best to play the sport within the final 15 years. It may be powerful however I am proper the place I wish to be. I’m going to stay to my sport plan and hope it is sufficient whenever you add all of it collectively.
“I’ve obtained two thirds and a second within the Open, I do know what I would like out of this week, however too many ideas on the end result isn’t good so I’m going to try to keep on the psychological plan I’ve and put in one other good show.
“I was up there at Muirfield when Phil was a deserved winner but there’s always revenge. It would great to hand one back to him tomorrow.”
Three birdies within the first 4 holes took Stenson into the lead, just for the 40-year-old to three-putt the sixth and fail to rise up and down from a bunker on the eighth, though the well-known ‘Postage Stamp’ was taking part in simply 100 yards as one of many modifications made by event officers in anticipation of robust winds.
Mickelson had been left cursing the “golfing gods” after his birdie putt to shoot the primary 62 in main historical past lipped out on Thursday, however obtained a large stroke of luck on the 12th.
A badly sliced tee shot was headed deep into bother however bounced off a gorse bush and right into a place from the place the left-hander was capable of hack out down the green.
Mickelson’s method to the inexperienced then span again round 15 ft and caught a down slope which took it nearer to the opening, from the place he holed for essentially the most unlikely of pars.
A birdie from 25 ft on the 13th doubled Mickelson’s benefit however the 46-year-old misplaced it instantly by three-putting the 14th after Stenson had holed from 4 ft for birdie.
Mickelson went again in entrance with a birdie on the 16th however there was time for one more two-shot swing on the subsequent, Stenson holing from 15 ft for birdie and Mickelson making bogey after a wayward tee shot.
World quantity 19 Mickelson, who would be part of Lee Trevino and Nick Faldo with six main titles with victory on Sunday, mentioned: “It is an important alternative and an important problem.
“I was off today, I didn’t have my best stuff and I was a little bit short of my rhythm. It could have been a day that got away from me but I’m pleased I found a way to shoot under par and kept myself in it.”
McIlroy had not given up hope of securing a second Open title regardless of beginning the day eight pictures off the lead, however by no means threatened to make a cost after carding three bogeys within the first 5 holes.
And the four-time main winner’s frustrations lastly got here to a head on the 16th as he hurled his fairway wooden to the turf and noticed it snap into items after a wayward method to the par 5.
”The clubhead got here unfastened on it earlier within the week so I needed to get it re-glued, so it’s partly to do with that and partly the throw itself,” mentioned the 27-year-old, who instructed Press Affiliation Sport final yr his advantageous for launching his three iron right into a lake at Doral through the WGC-Cadillac Championship was lowered from 25,000 US to five,000 (£three,700) for apologising on TV.
”I let one go proper on the earlier gap, a 3 iron, and I did the identical factor there. It was mainly a foul swing.”