After ten holes, the Frenchman was in tenth place in the provisional standings thanks to three birdies before getting stuck at 11 and then 12 with two consecutive bogeys. A final birdie on 18 after a third error on 17 allowed him to sign a 71 (-1), his third card under par in three days and to move into the top 30 at -5.
Lionel VELLA, in St Andrews (Scotland)
How do you feel at the end of this third round, Victor?
I’m pretty content overall. I did a good game even if I didn’t know how to get the most out of it. In fact, it’s a bit of a summary of my three days where I was pretty really well. Overall, I didn’t really miss any shots. But it would also be nice if the game could get a little carried away. After this passage 9 and 10 (birdie every time), I don’t hit such a bad shot at 11 behind the green. I then make a good chip but I miss the putt. At 12, I may be making a mistake. It is a flag that is not obvious. So everyone wants to pilot, get close and have a good shot and maybe go out with a birdie. But as soon as you are on the wrong side of the big mounds on this course, it becomes hard…
In any case, you sign for the third time a round under par after your 71 on Thursday and this 69 on Friday…
It’s always good to end with a birdie at 18. It gives a much better taste to the day. It would have been a shame to end up with three bogeys and missed chances at 14 and 18 which are the two holes where you can birdie, with hole number 10 too.
There are always those 6-7-yard putts that don’t fit. The chiefs, them, return them. Kevin Kisner was -7 this morning after 10 holes
How did you find the course? Was it more difficult than the previous days?
I thought he was pretty candid today. There weren’t too many surprises. Other than maybe 17. There they put the flag once in the front, once in the middle, and they’re going to start using the back of the green… I didn’t find they should limit scoring with the flags.
Did you feel a difference in weather between the start and end of your game?
No not too much. One had much the same conditions on Thursday. We had a little less wind on the way back, which made things a little easier. With the crosswind, we could keep control of the ball while Thursday, it was really coming from the right. On the other hand, there are always those putts at six seven meters that do not fit. The chiefs, them, return them. Kevin Kisner was -7 this morning after 10 holes. That’s how it goes with a drive shot, an iron and a putt on the easy holes…I felt like I made some good putts but unfortunately…
The goal for tomorrow? Trying to finish in the top 15, is it playable?
Depending on the conditions, if there is a big score, you never know what can happen. There is no reason to approach this 4th lap more aggressively. When the flags are at the edge of hills with slopes, it’s almost adopting a kamikaze attitude to try to go to the flag. You have to manage to choose your moments and know that there are birdie holes even if the flags can be very hard…
Photo: Paul ELLIS / AFP