Friday, July 15, 2016

What to watch for on Day 3 of the British Open

145th Open Championship - Day Two

As we head to the weekend of the British Open, we look forward to the five things that you should watch for in the third round at Royal Troon.

Phantastic Phil: Phil Mickelson backed up an opening 62-and-a-half — OK, a 63 — with a respectable 2-under 69. His 10-under total is the best ever after 36 holes in an Open at Royal Troon. Now, the question is if he can finish off a sixth major at the age of 46 and become the oldest British Open winner.

A not-so-nasty version of Friday: The weather forecast for Saturday calls for clouds throughout the day, as well some rain interspersed. The wind is expected to blow out of the west anywhere from 10-20 mph. The direction should be closer to the normal wind that helps players on the outward nine and blows in the player’s face on the inward nine.

American domination: Americans have won the Open at Royal Troon the last six times it’s been played there. Heading into the weekend, five players in the top 10 are Americans, with others, including Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, lurking on the outside. Even if Phil Mickelson stumbles, an American is in good position to win the Claret Jug.

Who makes a charge?: Inevitably, someone makes a charge on Moving Day at a major championship. The question will be who and how close they get to the lead. Jordan Spieth made the cut on the number at 4 over par, while Jason Day is at 2 over par. Or could it be 59-year-old Mark O’Meara, who is playing the weekend?

Where’s the Beef: Andrew Johnston, nicknamed “Beef”, is an affable Englishman who has played the best golf of his life this season. He’s at 4 under through the first 36 holes and could well find himself in the thick of it on Sunday. So, if you hear people talking about beef on Saturday at Troon, no, Mad Cow Disease isn’t back.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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