Sensation as China's Li fires 63 at British Open

Ruben Hill
July 24, 2017

Matt Kuchar has taken the lead from Jordan Spieth at the British Open, thanks to a wildly errant tee shot that cost Spieth a penalty shot and led to a bogey on the 13th hole.

The South African born in Pretoria did not know the 62 he shot in the early stages Saturday at the 146th Open Championship would become the first 62 in the 442 golf majors played.

Some of the other top players in the world jumped up the leaderboard on moving day, none more so than World No.1 Dustin Johnson, who shot a 64 to move to -3.

Rory McIlroy squandered a flying start to card a 69 and finish on two under alongside Scotland's Richie Ramsay and the English duo of Ross Fisher and Ian Poulter. "But when I made a mistake, I was able to be resilient and bounce back".

Through all the years, through all the rounds, through all the shots, no man has ever shot 62 in a major championship. A day after making no bogeys in shooting a 65 he bogeyed three of his first four holes and saw his three-shot lead evaporate as Kuchar moved into a tie.

He made five birdies through his front nine, including two on the bounce to hit the inward nine holes in only 29 shots.

He had a willing opponent in Kuchar, and they will be at the tail of the field again in the final round.

Ultimately, though, three pars meant he had to settle for a bogey-free six-under par third round that leaves him on a three-under total of 207, definitely in the hunt for the Claret Jug.

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"I'm going to need to shoot probably nine-under, I would imagine, to get to 12". I knew I was playing well and I was just in the zone. I didn't know 62 was the lowest ever but now it makes it even more special.

Others did know. The 2015 PGA Championship victor Jason Day, having played five groups before Grace, said, "I think this is a good formula to see maybe the first 62 in a major championship".

"Now it makes the day even sweeter".

However, the world number 35 then holed from 35 feet on the 14th and 16th and two-putted the par-five 17th to reach eight under par for the day.

A birdie putt at the 15th lipped out but Grace responded by holing a long effort at the par-four next, before getting to eight under with a two-putt gain at the par-five 17th. "I was really concentrating getting myself back into this tournament, and giving myself a chance".

The freakish sequence played out in slow motion as Spieth took more than 20 minutes before hitting his shot.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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