Marc Leishman took a run at the major championship scoring record.
In the end, he had to settle for an 8-under 64 in the third round of the British Open.
Taking advantage of prime scoring conditions, the 31-year-old Australian was poised for a historic score after a birdie at the 15th. But he missed a 10-foot birdie attempt at the 16th, squandered another good birdie look at the tough 17th, and then watched a wedge to the 18th roll back into the Valley of Sin. That left Leishman with another par and one shot away from joining the select list of players who’ve shot 63 in a major. No player has ever shot 62 in a major.
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Leishman said he first thought a chance at 62 was possible after he birdied the 13th hole to get to 7-under on the day and 8-under for the tournament.
“Obviously the birdie on 15 was nice, and then had my chances on the last three holes but just couldn’t make them,” he said. “Yeah, I’d probably say 13, 14, that’s when it started to enter my mind. (Caddie Matt Kelly) actually said something to me walking down 16.”
Leishman is having another strong Open, tying for fifth at Royal Liverpool a year ago. He was scheduled to play in the Masters this past spring but had to withdraw when his wife, Audrey, came down with a life-threatening illness.
She has since recovered, and Leishman says the experience “really, really puts things in perspective.” He’s at 9-under after three rounds and, with players still on the course, has put himself in position to contend on Sunday.