Writing on Steve Stricker is almost like doing a cut and paste for a school report. You have the content already written, all you need to do is change a few things around. Stricker brought the heat with him again today. But played cool under pressure. Birdies at 3, 5, 7, 11, is the best stress free golf you can play. It wasn’t all that easy though.
He worked out of a jams along the way but he weathered the storm. At 12 he put the ball just near the bunker and recovered for par. At 17 he put the ball on the sprinkler head. He got relief for the officials by landing their allowing him to save par. On 18 he hit his tee shot and it went off the fairway and then recovered on his up to put it on the green. Ultimately he saved par from inches away.
The 4-under par 66 in the third round, a three-round total of 18-under, 192. That breaks the record for lowest 54-hole score in the U.S. Senior Open. 18-under par is three better than the previous mark, and the 192 total is also three clear of the previous record. The six-stroke lead is the second largest lead in Senior Open history. Stricker at 52 years young is showing he is the new sheriff in town.
Jerry Kelly, if it was another normal week, would be leading the tournament at -12. Seven straight pars on then a bogey at 8 was the only hiccup of his front nine. The back nine saw Kelly with pars at 10, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 18. Birdie shots at 11, 17 and a bogey on 14. There was talk that he showed signs of having some shoulder trouble, but he played on and will play tomorrow in the last pairing with Stricker.
Dave Toms the defending champion of the 2018 U.S. Senior Open Championship is not going away. He continues to put up the good fight. Like ant champion you just don’t throw in the towel. Toms played even par for most of the day. Toms got a birdie on 3, then he gave it back by shooting bogey at 10. Like kelly, -11 is typically good enough to win you a championship. Toms will go off in the second to last group tomorrow Bob Estes.
Post Round 3 Press Conference
Moderator Question: “What was the key for you out there today?”
Steve Stricker Response: “Much the same as it was the first two days, just driving it in the fairway. Hit some pretty good iron shots into the greens. Just didn’t get into too many problems. That was the key. And if I did, I was able to get it up-and-down or make a save of some sort.”
“But pretty steady round again today. And the course toughened up a little bit today. The wind was coming from a different direction, kind of a west-northwest to almost a northwest wind, and it played a little bit different.”
“Greens firmed up. Some of the pin locations were a little bit tougher, and you could tell in the scoring, too, it wasn’t quite as good as it was the first couple of days.”
Media question: “Is there a level of comfort playing with Jerry Kelly, who’s a friend of yours, somebody you’ve known for a long time, even on a big stage like the third or fourth round of the Senior Open?”
Steve Stricker response: “Yeah, it’s comfortable yet kind of weird, you know, in a strange way. We’ve been partners in team events, at Shark Shootout or the Bass Pro Shops out on the Champions Tour. Not too many times we come up head-to-head — last week we had a playoff against one another, and that felt weird, too. Usually we’re rooting for each other and not really playing all that much head-to-head in a final round, especially in a major out here.”
“It’s fun to play with him, and it’s fun to be out there with him, but yet it’s kind of awkward, too. (Laughter.)”
Media question: “How do you approach tomorrow?”
Jerry Kelly reponse: “Yeah, I’m going to have to be the aggressor. You know, he’s hitting it long and straight. He’s got a lot less in than me. He can pick apart a golf course. I’m going to have to play flawless. I mean, flawless. And I’m going to have to make a lot of putts.”
“You know, if I can get three birdies on him early, I can make him start pressing, and he might thought he’d never have to. But it’s going to be tough catching up with that guy. He’s just doing all the right things.”
Media question: “You’ve seen him through the years. Just the way he can go –“
Jerry Kelly response: “Absolutely. You give him a course that’s moderate in distance, he’s going to pick it apart. There’s no question. As long as he’s going that driver going straight, he’s long, and he’s so good with those short irons that — he’s good with all his irons, but his short irons are still world-class, not just Senior Tour, Champions Tour, it’s world-class. Hats off; it was a different day, and he was up to the different challenges that it posed. But I’d like to drive my ball up there by his a couple times.”
Round 4 Championship day
Sunday will feature Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly as the final pairing at 3:25. The second to last pairing will be David Toms and Bob Estes who will tee-off at 3:14. For a full listing of off tee time click here.
During Sunday’s final round, all U.S. Senior Open merchandise will be 50% off. Guests can take advantage of this sale by visiting the Merchandise Tent located at the Main Entrance.
UPDATED FAN TICKET OPTIONS
Fans will be able to purchase tickets at a special twilight rate after 3 p.m. for the remainder of the championship. Tickets will be available at the Main Entrance. Ticket options include:
- Gallery – General admission to the grounds of the Warren Golf Course, and access to public grandstands. Price: $30
- Irish Club – Includes general admission plus entry to the Irish-themed shared hospitality structure featuring 180-degree views of the 17th hole, indoor/outdoor seating, club lounge, a shamrock shaped bar, and big screen TVs. Upgraded food and beverage options available for purchase inside the Irish Club. Price: $55
In anticipation of temperatures in the 90s, the USGA has revised its U.S. Senior Open Championship water policy to address heat-related issues. Starting on Thursday, the following measures will be in place to facilitate fan hydration for the championship at The Warren Golf Course:
- Two (2) clear, unopened water bottles of 24-oz. or less will be permitted through championship admission gates
- Complimentary refill stations will be available throughout the course
Fans are encouraged to prepare for hours in the sun by applying sunscreen, wearing a hat, using a sun umbrella and seeking shade through the warmer afternoon hours. Fans are permitted to bring sunscreen in 3-oz. containers.
FAN PARKING REMINDER
Public parking will be located at White Field. Directions to White Field are as follows:
North (from Michigan): Turn left onto Douglas Road from State Road 933. Follow the signs to the public parking lot
South (from South Bend): Turn right onto Douglas Road from State Road 933 Follow the signs to the public parking lot
East / West from the Indiana Toll Road – (I 80/90)
- Take exit 77 toward IN-933/US-31/South Bend/Notre Dame
- Continue straight onto Douglas Road
- Follow the signs to the public parking lot
Championship traffic has access along Douglas Road from State Road 933 to reach White Field. No through traffic on Douglas Road from Ironwood Road to the Indiana Toll Road entrance/exit from Thursday, June 27 to Sunday, June 30. We recommend finding alternate routing during the week unless you will be attending the championship.
Road closures will be in place from Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30 from 6:00 a.m. until close of play (approximately 8:00 p.m.) each day. We recommend avoiding this side of campus throughout the week it you are not attending the championship.
Road closures will be located at:
- Douglas Road and White Field Entrance (Closed to through traffic. Fans will have access along Douglas Road from State Road 933 to White Field to reach the public parking lot)
- Juniper Road and Pendle Road
- Moreau Drive and Douglas Traffic Circle
- Wilson Drive and Stepan Drive
- Twychenham Road and Bulla Road
- Douglas Road and Ironwood Road
- Douglas Road and Ivy Road
- Burdette Street and Mc Erlain Street
- Willis Street and Mc Erlain Street