Ryan Moore of Puyallup put himself in contention for the British Open Championship Saturday with a one-over-par 72 on the treacherous links of Scotland’s Muirfield that left him tied for fifth through three rounds, four strokes back of leader Lee Westwood.
In his fourth Open, Moore, 30, 45th in the world rankings and winner of $1.1 million on the PGA tour this year, has never finished higher than 28th at the event (2011).
He had five bogeys and three birdies during a sunny but typically wind-blasted afternoon along the shoreline of the Firth of Forth for a three-day total of 72-70-72 — 214. He is tied with three premier players: Angel Cabrera, Zach Johnson and Henrik Stenson.
Ahead of him are other formidables: England’s Lee Westwood, looking to win his first major, leads at 210, with Tiger Woods and Hunter Mahan tied for second at one-under 212 — the only players to break par. Adam Scott is alone in fourth at even-par 213. A stroke back is Phil Mickelson.
Moore, who has won twice on the tour and has 38 top 10 finishes, missed the cut at the U.S. Open, but is handling the shifting winds and rock-hard greens of Muirfield as well as anyone. But doing best of all was Westwood, the home-country favorite.
“Well, actually, I’m not in a high-pressure situation, because I’m going to go have dinner, and I’m so good with a knife and fork now that I don’t feel any pressure at all,” he told reporters Saturday. “I’ll think about winning the Open championship tonight at some stage, I’m sure. I don’t see anything wrong with that — picture yourself holding the claret jug at the final tee and seeing your name at the top of the leaderboard.”
Moore tees off the final round Sunday at 5:50 a.m. PT with Cabrera.