GOLF.com conducts a weekly roundtable with its staff to break down the game’s hottest topics. And since it’s British Open week, we are answering one burning question each night. Check back for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.
The stage is set for the final round of the 147th British Open. Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner share the 54-hole lead at nine under, but there’s no shortage of firepower chasing them. Kevin Chappell is two back, Francesco Molinari is three off the lead and Tiger Woods, Rory McIlory and five others are all four back. Who will come out on top and lift the claret jug Sunday evening?
Jeff Ritter: Kisner! OK, OK, Spieth deserves to be the overwhelming favorite, but Kisner is the hottest putter in the field, and I think he learned a few things when he held the 54-hole lead at the PGA last year. Spieth will be tough to crack, but I have a hunch Kisner is ready for it.
Josh Berhow: Jordan Spieth will find enough Spiethsonian magic and edge the hottest player in the tournament, Francesco Molinari. In Molinari’s last five starts he’s won twice and finished second twice, but I like Spieth’s three-shot head start.
Michael Bamberger: If I were Spieth, the player I would worry about most is Molinari. He’s been playing great, he’s a tremendous iron player and I think Sunday, especially in the wind, will be about managing mistakes, which takes life and golfing maturity, and Frankie has it. I guess I’m saying I think it will be Spieth but if it’s not I like Molinari’s chances best. Or maybe I just like him.
Alan Shipnuck: The two purest shots of the day were probably Spieth’s Arnie-at-Cherry-Hills drive on the 1st hole and his laser-like iron shot to set up a rare birdie at 16. When he’s swinging this well and putting well he’s very, very hard to beat. No one in the game has more grit or has been through the fire as often in the last few years. Sometimes you gotta go straight chalk and I think Jordan gets it done to add to his legacy.
Josh Sens: Sticking with my pre tourney sleeper of Molinari. He’s hitting the ball beautifully. Just needs the putter to stay hot. Post a number early and you never know.
Joe Passov: Tommy Fleetwood rips a 63…and Jordan Spieth edges him by one.
Sean Zak: Sorry, Joe. Today was the day for 63. It ain’t happening Sunday. Sixty-nine might not even happen Sunday. I’ll take the guys with the far fewest strokes made right now. The best one, too. Spieth.
Dylan Dethier: The course wins! If the breezes exceed the wee Scottish puffs of the last few days (as the forecast suggests) then I think we’ll see a little more of the nastiness we were promised, and that would be great fun. But I guess we’re picking players, and while Spieth is rightly the favorite, I don’t think he wins Sunday. I can’t shake the feeling that someone from the group at five under is going to make a charge and the leaders are going to stall. Gimme Tiger! (And gimme Fleetwood, McIlroy and the rest of the five-under gang, too.)