Tour Confidential: Who wins the Open Championship?

Rory McIlroy hits his tee shot on Saturday on the 15th hole at St. Andrews.

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Check in each day of this week’s U.S. Open for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the hottest topic in the tournament, and join the conversation by tweeting us @GOLF_com

Round three of the Open Championship is complete, and we have one more day until the Claret Jug is awarded at St. Andrews. Sunday’s final pairings will look familiar. On Saturday, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, playing together in the penultimate group, each shot 66s to move to the top of the leaderboard, where they hold a four-stroke advantage over Cameron Young and Cameron Smith, who were Saturday’s final group. Five back is Masters champ Scottie Scheffler and Si Woo Kim. So … who wins?

Luke Kerr-Dineen, Game Improvement Editor (@lukekerrdineen): I could actually see Cam Smith getting hot and making a run. You can never count out a putter as good as that. But let’s be real, Rory’s winning this. I’m expecting him to hit some nervy shots off the tee in the early part of his round, but the beauty of the Old Course from Rory’s perspective is that it gives you a lot of wiggle room to do just that. Combine it with Rory’s general tendency to need a challenge to rise to to play his best golf (see Hovland, Viktor), and you’re left with an unbeatable combination.

Nick Piastowski, senior editor (@nickpia): Rory. He was my pick at the start, and he’s done nothing over these past three days to convince me otherwise. He has the firepower. He’s showing the touch. He has the mojo. He’ll hold the Claret Jug. (Or he’ll shoot 79 and tie for 18th. But no in between!)

Rory mcilroy british open
A Rory McIlroy party has broken out in St. Andrews. Can it continue?
By: Sean Zak

Zephyr Melton, assistant editor (@zephyrmelton): I hate to just echo my coworkers, but there’s little doubt in my mind that Rory gets it done tomorrow. He’s been extremely solid thus far, he’ll have the crowd on his side tomorrow, and I just don’t trust Viktor’s chipping. This is the week he finally summits the mountain top once again.

Josh Berhow, managing editor (@Josh_Berhow): I really do hate when we all agree here. But I’ll take Rory, too. He’s too good to wait this long for his next major title — it’s been nearly eight years! Everything just seems to align this week. He’s played wonderfully. He’s a fan favorite here. He’s got a four-shot lead on everyone but one guy. I think we are done waiting for that next major title.

James Colgan, assistant editor (@jamescolgan26): Nah, it’s Hovland. I’ve seen this movie before. IF Rory can survive the first six holes at even or better, he’s a near-lock to win. Problem is, I don’t know if he can do that, especially considering the pressure that will join this particular final round. Hovland has the better game plan, the better head on his shoulders, and a very similar ball-striking prowess. He’s the guy on Sunday.

Dylan Dethier, senior writer (@dylan_dethier): Rory McIlroy is playing the best golf of anybody in this tournament. He looks very much in control. He sounds like he believes very much that he is the best golfer in the world. And I fully believe he’s going to win.

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