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July 20 2013

7:53 AM

Afternoon players to watch

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

GULLANE, Scotland -- Among the interesting pairings for the third round of The Open Championship is the two-ball of Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia.

At the 2007 Open at Carnoustie, Harrington closed with a 67 and ended up beating Garcia in a playoff. Both players owned a one-shot lead on the 72nd hole -- Harrington hitting into the Barry Burn twice on the way to a double bogey and Garcia later unable to get up and down for what would have been the winning par.

Here are some other players PGATOUR.COM is watching this afternoon at Muirfield. Use the comments section below and let us know the players you'll have your eyes on.

Phil Mickelson:
Lefty has only had two top-10s at The Open Championship in 19 previous starts. One of those was two years ago, and the man who won the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on Sunday has become increasingly comfortable with the links game.

Ian Poulter: If nothing else, Poulter always bears watching to see what kind of clothes he's going to break out. But the colorful Brit starts the third round just four strokes off the lead and he has two top-10s in his last five Open Championships.

Adam Scott: The reigning Masters champ suffered bitter disappointment last year at Royal Lytham & St. Annes when he squandered a four-stroke lead on the final four holes Sunday. He's quietly lurking again this year at 1 over so Saturday could be big if he can make a move.

Jordan Spieth: The 19-year-old won the John Deere Classic on Sunday to punch his ticket to his first Open, and he was among the leaders after a 69 on Thursday. If he can shake off the second-round 74 and get headed in the right direction again who knows what this uber-talented teen can do.

Angel Cabrera: The Argentine comes up big in the big events and this week is no exception. His only two PGA TOUR wins came at the 2007 U.S. Open and the 2009 Masters -- and he lost in a playoff to Scott earlier this year at AUgusta National.

Tiger Woods:
The world No. 1 hasn't won a major championship in his last 16 starts but he's once again gotten himself in position to make a run. He's been ultra conservative this week and it's paid off with rounds of 69 and 71.

Lee Westwood: The Englishman is 0-61 in majors but he's had top-10 finishes in nine of his last 15 starts. Two of those are runner-ups, including in 2010 at the Open at St. Andrews.

Miguel Angel Jimenez:
This cigar-smoking Spaniard bears watching for his warm-up routine, if nothing else. But at 49 Jimenez could become the oldest winner in major championship history.

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