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  Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
18 holes of solitude
Gordon Brand Jnr
Gordon Brand Jnr on the first hole
BBC Sport Online's Alasdair Lamont provides Gordon Brand Jnr with some company as he plays the final round alone.

A third round of 80 meant Scotland's Gordon Brand Jnr was last-placed of those who made the cut.

As a consequence of an injury to American, Dudley Hart, Brand Jnr was left to play his final round on his own, with only his caddy and a marker for company.

So, at 0820BST, Brand Jnr took to the 1st tee to begin his fourth round, returning in plenty time for a spot of lunch.

A one-under-par round of 71, consisting of three birdies and two bogeys, meant a final total of four-over-par 292.

The 41-year-old Scot seemed to relish the unique challenge playing on his own represented, playing some excellent golf in probably the most difficult conditions anyone has faced all week.

Gloomy

A gloomy, overcast sky and a stronger, chilly breeze provided a more traditional atmosphere for the competitors.

But Brand Jnr, playing in his 20th Open, and third at St Andrews, has seen it all before and he began the round with some solid golf.

He played the first four holes very steadily, driving well, and generally leaving himself a relatively straight-forward second shot.

With a little more luck with his putting, he might have picked up a couple of shots.

On the par five 5th, he was just short of the green in two and a nice chip left him with a great birdie opportunity.

But again, his putting slightly let him down and he had to settle for a fifth consecutive par.

Reward

second tee
A desolate second tee for Gordon Brand Jnr
His reward for some terrific iron play eventually arrived on the 6th, when he was left with a reasonably short putt for a birdie which he successfully holed.

Despite a first wayward tee shot of the day on the 9th which landed in the rough on the right of the fairway, Brand Jnr recovered to hit a superb second shot to within six feet of the pin.

A confident putt gave him his second birdie of the day, to leave him at three-over for the championship.

Dropped shots at the short 11th and the 13th, though, brought him back to where he started and a fluffed chip on the par five 14th meant any chance of a birdie disappeared.

Consolation

A consolation hug from Steve Pate, playing the neighbouring 4th green, brought a little light relief for Brand Jnr and he picked up a shot again at the 15th with a good long putt.

A solid final three holes, including a comfortable par at the treacherous 17th, left him four-over for the championship.

Brand Jnr declared himself happy with his rather unusual round but stressed that he would have preferred to have had a playing partner.

But arriving back at the clubhouse a little over two hours after he teed off at least allowed Brand Jnr to sit back and watch the Tiger Woods show.

See also:

23 Jul 00 | The Open
22 Jul 00 | The Open
23 Jul 00 | Ken Browns Guide
22 Jul 00 | The Open
23 Jul 00 | BBC Team
23 Jul 00 | Photo Galleries
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