Amateur tied with Oosty, Day through 54 holes at Old Course

Third Round — 144th Open Championship — Old Course — St. Andrews, Scotland —

Irish amateur Paul Dunne managed to upstage Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and the rest of the game’s top players during the third round Sunday at the 144th Open Championship.

Dunne, who played his college golf in America at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB), fired a bogey-free 6-under-66 to reach 12-under and a tie for the 54-hole lead at The Old Course. At 12-under, he will be in the final pairing Monday alongside 2010 Open champ Louis Oosthuizen.

The pair played together Sunday as well. Dunne’s college coach caddied for the 22-year-old.

The third player at 12-under is Aussie Jason Day, who played in the final group at the U.S. Open last month at Chambers Bay. Day, who has never logged a Top 10 at the Open Championship, is looking for his first major title.

Day will play with Spieth on Monday in the final round. Spieth, who had the lead for a stretch in round three, shot 66 to reach 11-under. Spieth is trying to become the first player in history to win a season’s first three major championships. He already won The Masters and the U.S. Open.

Padraig Harrington, a three-time major champion including a pair of Open titles, shot 7-under-65 to post 10-under overall. He is alone in 5th place and just two back. He won the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic early this season.

Johnson, who entered Sunday’s third round as the overnight leader, found himself stuck in neutral all day — failing to make putts. He carded just one birdie and shot 1-over par to slip back to  7-under. Needing a low round Monday, look for DJ to gun for flag sticks in hops to posting a number before the final groups reach the 16th.

DJ played alongside Danny Willett in round three. Both struggled. Willett reached 12-under and the lead mid-way through Sunday’s round before he became unnerved. Willett shot 72 and sits T-6 heading into Monday.

Look for a player at 9-under (T-6) and within striking distance to make an early move Monday to pressure the final pairings. Part of that group at 9-under features Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Justin Rose and Adam Scott.

According to, Spieth was the betting favorite heading into the week at 7-to-1 odds. Day opened the week 33-1, while Oosthuizen was 25-1 along with Scott. The pressure and competition near the top might be too much for Dunne to handle in the final round. If the Irishman can pull it off, he started out the week at 1000-1 super long shot at Ladbrokes.

Other Golf News:

  • Dunne is the first amateur player since Bobby Jones in 1927 to hold the 54-hole lead at the Open Championship.
  • Chella Choi (14-under overall) shot 66 to force a playoff and captured the LPGA Tour’s Marathon Classic in Ohio. She edged Na Ha Jang for the victory. Lydia Ko and Shanshan Feng were T-3, while Inbee Park and Brittany Lang logged Top 10s.
  • Goosen, who was one of the last players to qualify for the Open, is just three back. Goose opened the week as a 300-1 long shot to win the Open.
  • Ricky Barnes and Scott Piercy are both 13-under and tied for the lead at the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship heading into the final round.
  • Several players went low early Sunday in round three at the Open including Marc Leishman (64), Rickie Fowler (66) and David Duval (67). Low scores are expected Monday as well as weather is predicted to cooperate.