Saturday, July 22nd, 2017


NBC Sports Group Notable Quotes
The 146TH Open
Third Round
Saturday, July 22, 2017
7 a.m.-3 p.m. ET – NBC Live tournament coverage
3-4 p.m. ET – Golf Central Live From The Open
Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, England

**Live coverage of the final round of The 146TH Open airs on Golf Channel Sunday at 4 a.m. ET and continues on NBC at 7 a.m. ET until the tournament’s conclusion.**

On Saturday’s third round at The Open
Jim “Bones” Mackay – “Don’t tell Johnny I said this, but there is a 62 out there today.”
Johnny Miller – “Sort of a record scoring day today, no doubt about it. Good chance and all-time record will be broken, I really believe that. Somebody gets a few putts and a strong finish.”
Mark O’Meara – “It just goes to show you that when you come out here to watch an Open Championship or play an Open Championship, it comes down to the elements. Royal Birkdale, it is right in front of you, but it also is accessible if there is no wind. And there is no wind out there today, the course is soft, and the best players in the world are lighting it up out there.”
Dan Hicks – “This is a birdie and eagle fest at Royal Birkdale.”
Rich Lerner – “Royal Birkdale threw a pie in their face in round two. Today it was a cupcake and they ate it up.”
Miller – “After the scoring average of 74 and that tough weather yesterday, the R&A must be feeling charitable today.”
Gary Koch – “I can’t remember a day like this at a major championship, This is just fantastic stuff.”
Hicks – “I can’t remember a day at a major where it sounds like a Ryder Cup. I mean, every single green.”
Jacobsen – “They are all going in from all over the golf course.”

On Jordan Spieth, leader at 11-under par (5-under 65 on Saturday)
Hicks – “This was another Spieth masterpiece in a major.”
Miller – “Jordan Spieth has sort of got an on-off button. When it’s on, he’s good enough to beat everybody. He basically can win the tournament, he doesn’t need any help.”
Brandel Chamblee – “He looks at flagsticks like an Irishman looks at a dartboard.”
Chamblee – “It was a great back and forth between these two. Just one well-executed shot after another. Neither of these players blinked all day long.”
Frank Nobilo – “He has looked comfortable, even since he arrived here on Monday. When mother nature let up and the scores were there today, he just seems prepared for what is about to happen, which you can’t applaud enough.”
Chamblee – “The story of the day is that this young man, and another example of what makes Spieth the greatest frontrunner of this generation and on his way to becoming one of the greatest front runners and leaders in the history of the game. At 23.”
Mike Tirico – “He has been very dialed in with his speed.”
Miller – “There are some players who could hit a small bucket from there [Spieth’s bunker shot on 17] and not get it out.”
Mackay – “I think he’s special. I think he has the highest golf IQ in the game. The biggest heart. As Johnny mentioned, he is an amazing green reader and has the hardest working caddy in the business.”
Mackay – “[Michael] Greller is an amazing guy. He is a blast to be around. I’ve stayed with him on the road before where he has gone to the golf course at majors hours and hours before his tee time and watched groups play the golf course. He exhausts himself but not before he does an amazing job for Jordan.”
Miller – “His game is just perfect right now for this kind of golf. I think he can handle the pressure. His putter is a weapon. His irons have been also a weapon. It is his championship right now. He can have a mediocre front nine and still probably be leading by one. He is going to be tough to beat.”

Jordan Spieth speaking with Golf Channel’s Steve Sands following his round
Spieth –“I thought it was phenomenal. I was very pleased with our tee to green performance and I made a couple of nice par saves from four or five feet. But other than that it was pretty stress-free. For on a Saturday with a lead in a major, that is about as good as I could ask for right there. Really nice to get that one at the end. I got a really good break on my second shot to not get me in trouble, and to make a three there felt like I stole one or two going into tomorrow.”
Spieth –“I tried to just play the golf course today. I knew scores would be lower today, which is tough to hold the lead when par is necessarily not a great score but you still want to watch out and play a little safer.”
Spieth – Tomorrow is going to be an iffy day. Come out with a game plan, similar to day, set a goal and keep our heads down.”
Spieth – “I feel like I’m playing great. I’m putting decent. That one on the last was a nice confident boost. I need. I need to strike the ball like I struck it today and things will take care of itself.”

On Matt Kuchar, 2nd place at 8-under par (4-under 66 on Saturday)
Hicks – “He is a top-10 machine.”
Miller – “He doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses.”
Miller – “He’s doing what he is supposed to do today. Just sort of plugging along and picking up a birdie here and there. Whenever he misses a green, getting it up and in. That’s his game.”
Mackay – “John [Wood] has had a huge impact on Kuchar’s game and on the greens. Woody uses this aimpoint system which is where you read the amount of slope with your feet. I’ve noticed this year when I was paired with him when I was caddying still that Kuchar has been making a lot of those 10-20 footers and Woody seems to be reading them all.”

Matt Kuchar speaking with Golf Channel’s Steve Sands following his round
Matt Kuchar – “I played well today. Certainly I’m not out of it. I would like to be a little closer to Jordan, but I’m playing some good golf. I’m certainly very excited for tomorrow.”
Kuchar – “We had some fun out there today. Both of us were playing some good golf. I felt like it was a battle where both of us were pushing each other. Hopefully there will be more of that to come tomorrow.”
Kuchar – “It’s a great atmosphere. The British Open is so unique. The course is unique. The fans are unique. It is such a great event to be inside the ropes. It really is fun to be out there competing.”

On Brooks Koepka, T3 at 5-under par (2-under 68 on Saturday)
Hicks – “In back-to-back majors, Koepka has been playing some brilliant golf.”

On Branden Grace, T5 at 5-under par (8-under par 62 on Saturday, lowest score in Major Championship history)
Johnny Miller – “It’s about time. It is amazing the final leaders haven’t even teed off yet and you have this drama going on with this one great round.”
Dan Hicks – “And Branden Grace stands alone in Major Championship history. The first ever 62.”
Miller – “That’s got to be fun for him. Right in his prime, 29-years old. Sweet, look at that number. That is sweet.”
Hicks – “He was in the proverbial zone. He could do no wrong. He took advantage of great scoring conditions as well.”
Miller – “He did it with his ball striking. He had to go through the gauntlet. Those putts that he made were really strong and he drove the ball terrifically. He made the course really easy. It was setup really, really easy today folks, but it was still a heck of a round.”

Branden Grace speaking with NBC’s Steve Sands following his round and recounting highlights
Branden Grace – “It was a special day to be quite honest. I had no idea that it was the lowest at all. I was so in the zone and playing so well that I was just trying to finish the round without a bogey and hopefully trying to make another one on the last. That was all I was trying to do. Sometimes it helps not knowing these things. But it was a great day. I played flawlessly from tee to green and I made some great putts. It was a very special day.”

On No. 1
“It is always nice to make a putt like that on the first is awesome.”

On No. 4
“That was a lengthier one. I think I made four of those today. My lag putts were very good. The speed was phenomenal and every time I saw those lines, I just had to do the rest and hit the putt. It was great.”

On No. 5 tee
“That was a tricky hole. You have to go for it or lay it up. I thought that I was driving the ball well and it was a nice, normal driver. I flew it to the middle of the green. That was one of the putts that I was most disappointed with in my round. I thought I had the line I just couldn’t get myself to hit it. But it was never a bad thing to walk off with a birdie.”

On No. 8
“I’ve been rolling it nicely and I’ve been feeling a lot better. It is nice to putt without thinking about the stroke for once.”

On No. 9
“I can’t remember the last time I made a 29. That was good. Those are those putts you have to make and obviously it is nice to see those drop.”

On 14
“Today the greens were a little bit faster than the last couple of days. Obviously it was understandable with the weather we have had. It was good. I think they double cut or triple cut it today. It was good.”

On 16
“I just told Zack [Caddy] that I need to give it a chance. I thought I had a great line and I hit the putt it looked in all the way, just managed to sneak it in there.”

On 17
“I would have been really disappointed if I didn’t make this birdie. I hit a great drive, which I thought was a tough thing. Obviously going in with a 3-iron was good. Fortunately it bounced, my pitch was straight into the back of the slope there. Managed to say on the green and it was a good lag putt to have.”

On 18
“I really wasn’t worried because I thought my speed and my putts were really good all day. That was the thing that helped me the most. Obviously that 2-footer coming back, I just wanted to make it.”

“I think it helps playing with Duff [Jason Dufner]. He is a character. He is always making jokes and things like that. I had a great day. When you get on a run like that, you stop thinking about golf. You actually start thinking about what you are doing in the moment. It was one of the best ball-striking days I’ve had in a long time. It was a special day.”

On Hideki Matsuyama, T5 at 4-under par (4-under 66 on Saturday)
Miller – “He is doing what he normally does. He keeps himself in it. He’s very consistent.”

On Dustin Johnson, T7 at 3-under par (6-under 64 ono Saturday)
Hicks – “So with all of the low scores today, he will have to ‘settle’ for a 64. His lowest round in a major.

-NBC Sports Group-