Tiger Woods, Adam Scott And The Storylines That Won't Die

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 21: Tiger Woods of the United States hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club on July 21, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Adam Scott has a large lead at the British Open, but it ain't over yet. So what happens Sunday? Hopefully some drama as the third major winds down.

Tiger Woods was poised to threaten the top of the leaderboard after jarring his bunker shot on the 18th hole on Friday, but whatever momentum he had disappeared overnight. The result was a third-round 70, which was even-par for the day and left him with a five-shot deficit headed into the final round.

And the man on top of that distinct yellow leaderboard at the British Open? That's Adam Scott. He's been hovering around all week, turning in consistently good round after consistently good round. He'll have a nice cushion on Sunday after taming the course over the first three ways while playing some wonderful golf.

With that in mind, here's a few things to keep an eye on as Sunday begins.

So it's all over, right?

Adam Scott has a four-shot lead on the field and is five-up on Tiger Woods. Scott's been brilliant all week, threatening 62 on Thursday and carding three rounds in the 60s. If there's been a significant flaw in his game this week, nobody's been able to find it.

But Sunday is a funny day in majors. The pressure makes some do funny things and others thrive. Adam Scott has put in his work to build the lead, but no lead is safe, especially with dangerous pothole bunkers lining every nook and cranny of the course.

So no, it's not over. And that's a great thing.

Look out below

The top of this leaderboard is pretty wonderful for the casual observer. Remember the U.S. Open? What about the names dotting the top of the leaderboard then? Weren't exactly exciting, were they?

The top of the British Open leaderboard should inspire hope for an exciting Sunday. Adam Scott has put on a show all week and is fairly well-known. Graeme McDowell finished strong at the U.S. Open, knows how to win a major and is easy to root for.

And then there's Tiger, Ernie Els and Zach Johnson, all within six strokes. They're not particularly close to Scott, but it still feels like they're within striking distance.

About those low scores...

The weather at Royal Lytham & St. Annes has been ridiculously calm all week, making for a tame track. That could, however, change on Sunday. Wind is in the forecast, with gusts expected to be 20-plus miles per hour. When the weather is calm, the course is run-of-the-mill. We've seen as much over the first three days. When the wind starts blowing, though, watch out.

If you're rooting for chaos and an action-packed Sunday, go ahead and hope the weather gods are in a bad mood. And really, major championship Sundays are more fun with lead changes, big numbers and momentum swings. Is it really worth it to wake up early just to watch Adam Scott's victory parade?

Didn't think so.

Thankfully, we were spared from the ridiculous narrative

For a moment, it looked like Scott and Tiger would be paired together on Sunday. It was a fleeting moment, to be clear, but throughout Saturday's round, all eyes were on whether the two would end up in the final pairing. Television pundits and analysts were salivating.

And while it would be fun to see Woods and Scott battling it out over the final 18 holes at Royal Lytham -- with the former having to make up significant ground on the latter -- just be glad it didn't happen. The constant reminders about Steve Williams and his connection to both players would've grown tired before the pair even made it off the first tee box.

We get it: Williams and Woods had a less-than-amicable parting and Scott was there to pick up the pieces and a great caddie to boot. But this is about the players, the week Scott has had, and a final round that will, hopefully, be full of fireworks. The caddie storyline just isn't needed.

And yet, you'll still hear it, especially if Tiger closes the gap.

Oh, and that other narrative

Tiger Woods is back. Or he's not. Or maybe he was and now he isn't.

Whatever the case, the "Is Tiger back?" analysis is still going strong. A Thursday round in the 60s? Back. The magical bunker shot to end Friday's round? Back. An even-par 70 on Sunday? Clownfraud.

You see where this is going. If Tiger makes a charge and wins on Sunday, he'll be "back." If he's nothing more than background noise, he's not. It's all too predictable.

And the real shame in all this is that it doesn't matter. Whether Tiger is "back" or whether he'll ever be is a long-running storyline that just won't die. It's soul-sucking at this point, and still not going away.

Instead of wondering whether he's back or not, just enjoy the show. Maybe you'll see some good golf along the way, too!

Stay tuned for the trophy ceremony

I mean, this guy was British...


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