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Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Saturday, 18 July 2009 19:34 UK

Watson retains lead at Turnberry

The 138th Open, Turnberry
Date: 16-19 July
Coverage: Live TV coverage on BBC Two, Online and the Red Button, live on Radio 5 Live and text commentary online on all four days

Tom Watson

Round-up - Day three at the Open

By Mark Orlovac
BBC Sport at Turnberry

Tom Watson will take a one-shot lead going into the final day of the 138th Open at Turnberry as he chases a fairytale sixth title.

The 59-year-old carded two birdies in his final three holes for a third-round 71 to end a compelling day four under.

Ross Fisher leads the British challenge after a 70 put him together with Australian Mathew Goggin one behind.

England's Lee Westwood and South African Retief Goosen are sitting two strokes off the lead.

American duo Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink are just behind on one under and are the only other players under par after another blustery day made low scoring difficult.

Only five players managed to card an under-par round and with the wind set to increase on Sunday, another unpredictable day is in prospect.

But Watson, who collected the last of his eight majors at the Open in 1983, has displayed a mastery of the conditions all week and on Sunday will draw on a wealth of links experience in his quest for a remarkable win.

Watson shared the lead with unheralded American Steve Marino going into the third day and although he slipped to two under with bogeys at the 9th, 12th and 15th, his closing birdies put him back on top of the leaderboard.

Watson happy at 'magical' Turnberry

"I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow," said Watson, who won the second of his five Open titles in the famous 'Duel in the Sun' championship at Turnberry in 1977.

"But I do know one thing, I feel good about what I did today and I feel good about my game plan. Who knows, it might happen.

"My game plan for tomorrow is basically I can afford to make a certain number of bogeys, and I have to make up for them with a certain number of birdies. It's pretty simple but so far it's going well."

Watson is attempting to become the oldest winner ever (currently Old Tom Morris, who was aged 46 years and 99 days when he won at Prestwick in 1867).

He will also set the record for the largest gap between victories, currently 11 years, and the greatest gap between the first and last victory, at present 19 years, if he lifts the Claret Jug.

Fisher, who finished fifth at this year's US Open, also had birdies at 16 and 17 to raise home hopes of a first British Open winner since Paul Lawrie in 1999.

Fisher delighted after difficult day

But there is still a chance that the 28-year-old will not play in the final round as he has insisted all week that he will leave the tournament should his pregnant wife Jo go into labour.

"It's going to be very, very difficult but hopefully I can keep my mind on the job and just perform as well as I can," said Fisher, who will be paired with Westwood on the final day.

"Hopefully I won't have to make any rush decisions and hopefully Jo can hang on.

"I don't feel any pressure at having a chance of ending the British drought. I'm not sure why a British guy hasn't won the Open, we've got a tremendous amount of talent in the game.

"Playing with Lee will be great fun. I'm hoping we can have some banter and throw birdies at each other and try and get our names on top of the leaderboard."

Goggin confident of final day success

Goggin, currently 58th in the world, has missed the cut in his previous two Open appearances but an impressive 69 has placed him in the last group on the final day.

"After watching Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch and Peter Thomson, all the great champions winning the Open, this has become the dream," said the 35-year-old Australian.

"It's nice to be living it out."

Westwood had the chance to join Fisher and Goggin on three under after claiming two birdies on the back nine but he carded a bogey at the last after finding deep rough at the front of the green.

But despite that blip, the 36-year-old is hoping that his good form of late will see him through Sunday's final round.

"The more experiences you have the more equipped you become to handle most situations," said the world number 17, who narrowly missed out at last year's US Open.

"Having been in contention at the US Open, and playing that last round with Tiger Woods and learning a lot there, I can carry that on through to tomorrow.

606: DEBATE

"I'll be trying to play a bit better, be very patient and try not to make too many mistakes out there."

After his sparkling 68 on Friday, Marino struggled in his third round - carding four bogeys, two doubles and a triple at the par-three 15th.

But an eagle at the 7th and birdies in his final two holes gave him a 76 to keep him in the hunt on one over.

Ireland's Paul McGinley (70) and Graeme McDowell (71) of Northern Ireland are with Justin Rose (71) and John Daly (72) on two over.

First-round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez and American Mark Calcavecchia collapsed, claiming rounds of 76 and 77 respectively to slump to three over. Spain's Sergio Garcia is two strokes further adrift after a 76.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who was aiming for a third straight Open title, continued his poor form with a 76 to leave him nine over for the tournament.

"It started well and faded out rapidly," he said. "I was just poor and made the wrong decisions. It wasn't a very tidy round of golf, it wasn't my day."



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