As the wind picks up and time ticks off the clock, no one is coming at the lead group.
Louis Oosthuizen has reeled off three pars and his lead has increased to five after Paul Casey found a greenside bunker on the second hole and made bogey.
The three players – Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer – tied for third are a distant eight strokes off the pace. The Old Course undoubtedly has some surprises in store, but you have to wonder if Oosthuizen hasn’t built too large an advantage. --- Helen Ross
They’ve essentially been reduced to afterthoughts today at the British Open – but the world’s No. 1 and 2 players are going in opposite directions.
Top-ranked Tiger Woods, armed with his old Scotty Cameron putter, birdied two of his first three holes but he gave those back when he made double bogey at the fourth hole. Another double followed at the seventh hole, so Woods is 2 over through eight holes and tied for 43rd.
Mickelson, on the other hand, shot 34 on his first nine holes but just made his first bogey at No. 12. He’s tied for 24th at 3 under for the tournament – well shy of what would be just his second top-10 finish in 17 British Opens. – Helen Ross
It’s early yet, but Alvaro Quiros has just finished off the round of the day, a 67 that brought him from even par to 5 under for the tournament. The big-hitting Spaniard made his sixth and final birdie at the 18th hole -- much to the delight of the fans in the massive grandstands that are starting to fill up in earnest now.
U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell is also making up some ground. The affable Northern Irishman started the day at 1 under after a third-round 74 but has made six birdies and two bogeys in his first 14 holes to climb into the top 10 – for now, at least. – Helen Ross
Rory McIlroy and Ricky Barnes have just teed off – and despite the 3-inch difference in height, from a distance they looked like twins.
Both are wearing white pants, caps and shoes, and electric blue shirts. Barnes, perhaps not as accustomed to the temperatures, does have a white turlleneck under his shirt.
Maybe a phone call this morning would have been in order. – Helen Ross
This is the warmest day yet at St. Andrews as temperatures creep toward 70 degrees. The skies have been mostly sunny, although clouds are due to increase about the time the leaders start the homeward nine at the Old Course.
The wind, which was such a factor during the second and third rounds, will be more moderate on Sunday, although the gusts will still be in the 20-mph range.
Those lucky fans with tee times for Monday, though, had best watch out. There is a 70 percent chance of rain.
After a wretched three three-putt -- and 35 putts -- day and 99 putts in three days, Tiger Woods has benched his new Method putter in favor of his trusty Scotty Cameron. The one that stood by him for 13 of his 14 majors. The Nike putter was not in his bag.
He was asked specifically after the third round if his putting woes at St. Andrews -- where he ran away with Opens in 2000 and 2005 -- had anything to do with "the new stick."
" No, no, I just need to have better speed,'' he said.
Guess he slept on it and decided he could find that speed better with the Scotty Cameron.
Wonder if you could have gotten odds on a possible change at Ladbrokes Saturday night?
-- Melanie Hauser
· Louis Oosthuizen leads the British Open after making 19 birdies. It is the first time in the last three British Opens played at St. Andrews (1995, 2000 and 2005) that a player has made that many through the first three rounds. In the last 15 years at the British Open, only three players have made 19 or more through three rounds: Chris DiMarco and Hideto Tanihara in 2006 and Tom Lehman in 1996.
· Paul Casey has completely dominated the front nine at St. Andrews. Casey shot front nine scores of 34, 31 and 31, a combined 12 under. No one has played the front nine as well as Casey in the last three British Opens and no player has been 12 under on the front nine at St. Andrews through four rounds, either.
· Tiger Woods finds himself 3 under despite his nine bogeys through three rounds. It is only the fourth time in his career at a major tournament that Tiger has played nine or more holes over par and was 3 under or better through three rounds. The other three majors were the 2010 Masters, 2008 U.S. Open and 2004 PGA Championship.
· Henrik Stenson got himself back into contention with an impressive 32 on the front nine. That ties the lowest score on either the front or back relative to par for Stenson on the PGA TOUR. His last 4-under stretch of nine holes came at the 2009 PLAYERS Championship on the front nine in the final round. Stenson went on to win the tournament.
On a day when many thought he might come back to the field, Louis Oosthuzien went out and shot 3 under par on the Old Course and maintained his lead at the 139th British Open.
The five-stroke lead he began the day with now is just four over the hard-charging Paul Casey. But the 27-year-old South African now has a chance to follow in the footsteps of countrymen like Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els.
Germany’s Martin Kaymer is alone in third, but he is a distant seven strokes behind Oosthuizen, who picked up his first European Tour victory earlier this year. England’s Lee Westwood, Alejandro Canizares of Spain and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson are tied for fourth, eight strokes off the pace.
Sunday’s tee times begin at 7:26 a.m. local time (2:26 a.m. ET). The final group of Oosthuizen and Casey will tee off at 2:05 p.m. (9:05 a.m. ET)