The story of Sunday morning of The Open at Carnoustie was the wind picking up and creating a “survival of the fittest” situation as bogeys and big numbers were lurking every step of the way.
While Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, and Kevin Kisner, the trio tied for the lead after Saturday, all backed up, it was a familiar face that clawed his way to the top. By the time he made the turn to the back nine on Sunday, Tiger Woods held the solo lead at 7-under, one ahead of Spieth and playing partner Francesco Molinari.
Woods went out with a tidy, bogey-free 34 but found his first spot of real trouble off the tee on No. 10. Woods tugged a 3-wood left and found one of the deep bunkers at Carnoustie, prompting those in the booth to speculate he would have to punch out sideways to the fairway and scramble for par from there. Tiger, naturally, had a different plan and gave us a vintage Tiger moment that sent fans into a frenzy.
Everything about this was classic Woods. The decision to go for it, first off, showed confidence in his game that we haven’t seen for some time in a crucial spot. Then there was the violent swing that proves his back is more than fine, with a recoil to match. The ball didn’t just carry the burn but found its way to the front edge of the green to give him a look at birdie.
Woods would two-putt from there, narrowly missing out on a birdie, but if he were to go on to win, that par save from an awful spot on 10 might prove to be the difference.