Day 4 at Muirfield

  • Article by: NEWS SERVICES
  • Updated: July 22, 2013 - 12:13 AM

Ian Poulter made a back-nine charge well ahead of the final groups, but a missed birdie putt on 13 slowed the Englishman’s surge.

Photo: Scott Heppell • Associated Press,

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Keep that card

Ian Poulter: In a performance reminiscent of last year’s Ryder Cup at Medinah, Poulter shot up the leaderboard by making up five shots over four holes, going eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie from holes 9-12. He missed a birdie putt on the 13th hole, though, made bogey on the 16th and par on the par-5 17th to finish with a 4-under-par 67, tying for third and finishing four shots behind Phil Mickelson. “I really put myself in a nice position. It’s a shame to bogey No. 16, not birdie No. 17,” Poulter said. “But 4 under par in those circumstances was obviously a very good round of golf.”

Toss that card

Lee Westwood: His 62nd attempt at a major championship ended the way the first 61 did, in disappointment. The former No. 1 player in the world began the day on top and expanded his lead to three strokes, but he found bunkers instead of fairways, relinquishing his lead after bogeys on 7 and 8. He didn’t make a birdie on the back nine, finishing with a 4-over 75 to tie Poulter and Adam Scott for third. It’s the 40-year-old Westwood’s eighth top-three finish in a major championship. “I don’t really get disappointed with golf anymore,” he said.

On the course with ...

Jason Dufner: One of the first golfers to tee off Sunday, Dufner put together a 4-under 67 that earned him a tie for 26th place at 8 over. Rather than pack up for the flight back to the United States, though, Dufner then continued to share his thoughts on the afternoon via his Twitter account, with analysis such as “The key will be who plays the last 3 best” and “Watch the green side bunkers this afternoon.” Incidentally, Mickelson played the last three holes best among the leaders at 2 under.

British Open moment

No winning news conference at the British Open is complete without at least one provincial question. One Scottish reporter had asked Mickelson the previous weekend where he ranked his victory in the Scottish Open against all the other wins in his career. With the Claret Jug at his side, the same reporter asked him to rank the British Open against the others. “Winning Castle Stuart, at the time, was a big win for me,” Mickelson said of his Scottish Open victory. “But in seven days, it has gone down considerably.” Another writer asked Mickelson if he had any Scottish heritage in his surname. “I don’t know,” Mickelson said, and then said in a not particularly good attempt at a Scottish accent, “I don’t know. Maybe a wee bit.”

Stenson misses out

Henrik Stenson has finished in the top three at the British Open before. This time, though, he actually was in contention.

Stenson finished alone in second after shooting 70, three shots behind Mickelson. The Swede held a share of the lead Sunday before making back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13. He also didn’t realize Mickelson was piling up birdies in the group ahead of him. “All of a sudden, I saw he was 2 under and I was three back with only two holes to go,” Stenson said. “So I said to my caddie when I made the birdie on 17, ‘Maybe I can hole the second shot on 18 and get into a playoff.’ ”

Wishful thinking. Stenson could hear the crowd roar for another Mickelson birdie on the 18th.

Stenson finished third at the Open in 2008 and 2010, but he was six shots behind Padraig Harrington in ’08 and eight behind Louis Oosthuizen two years later.

Stat of the day

23 Tiger Woods’ score over par in Rounds 3 and 4 of his past six majors, according to ESPN Stats and Info. His score in Rounds 1 and 2 of those six tournaments is 11 under.

Tweet of the day

“Adam Scott could get mad, snap his putter in half, and still have a perfectly good and normal putter.”

Brian Floyd, managing editor of SB Nation, on Scott’s soon-to-be-banned anchored putter.

Up next: PGA Championship

The PGA Championship, the final major of the year, begins Aug. 8 at Oak Hill Country Club outside Rochester, N.Y.

 

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