British Open Championship 2008 Day 3

Holy Smokes! Greg Norman leads the Open Championship. His two-over-par 72 has him in first by two strokes.

If he somehow manages to win this, it would be an even bigger event that Nicklaus’ 1986 Masters win. It’ll make everybody forget about what’s his name with the leg injury. It’ll also go a long way toward getting people to forget the 1996 Masters debacle.

Of course, Norman has a long history of final day major meltdowns, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him tumble back to earth. There was the 1996 Masters collapse; the 1986 final round 76 in the PGA Championship that gave the tournament to Bob Tway; the 1987 Masters he lost on the second playoff hole, and the 1989 Open Championship in which he lost a four hole playoff after carding an X on the final hole.

Norman is 1-for-7 when he has the lead, or a share of the lead on the final day of a Major.

Still, on Sunday, Norman could continue his fine play and replace Julius Boros as the oldest winner of a Major. Boros won the PGA Championship at age 48. Incidentally, Boros also had the 54 hole lead in the US Open in 1973, when he was the same age as Norman. Johnny Miller won that tournament at Oakmont.

Mrs. GolfBlogger couldn’t be more thrilled. She thinks Norman is the best looking guy on the course. So does Mrs. GolfBlogger’s mother.

I don’t see any reason why he won’t win.

It’s funny that Norman was actually playing in the Open Championship as a sort of practice round for the Senior Open next week.

More about Norman’s 72. Tom Watson said that given Saturday’s conditions, 75 was a reasonable par. So Norman’s 72 was a terrific score.

But Ben Curtis’ 70 in those 40-mph winds was absolutely astounding. That moved him from 38th to a tie for fifth with Anthony Kim and Alexander Noren. I have to admit that in 1983 when Curtis won the Open on his first try at a Major, I thought it was one of those Jack Fleck moments, and that we’d never hear from him again. But he’s turned out to be a good player.

Curtis’ playing partner, Phil Mickelson, shot a 76, and fell to 13 over.

If Sergio Garcia thinks he has bad luck, he should have watched Jim Furyk today.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed on Norman, but there’s also an outside chance of an even bigger story: 20-year-old amateur Chris Wood has an outside chance to win. He’s six back, but given the weather, he may have a chance.

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