Westwood and Donald fall short of home fans' great expectations

England expected at the 140th Open Championship, at least in the form of the world's top-two players, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. But forget lifting the Claret Jug tomorrow.

Lifting the luggage into the car for an early return home last night was more like it. Donald knew he had not qualified for the weekend when he bogeyed the last four holes and finished at six over par after a 75.

Westwood had a more agonising wait having got in at four over, a score that flirted with the possibility of two more rounds in the oldest championship of them all, but always looked like being one stroke too many – which proved to be the case.

Donald triumphed in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart a week ago but never found the form here that has made him the world's No 1. Three bogeys in the first four holes meant it was always going to be a struggle but when he got back to two over with five to play he felt he might still be able to strike at the weekend.

From the 15th, however, it was a disaster and at the 17th he could not escape a perilous spot in a bunker. "It was a horrible lie," Donald said of not being able to find the green, "but it was a horrible shot to get there in the first place."

Donald said he did not feel any more pressure in his exalted position in the rankings but admitted he is at a loss to explain his lack of a challenge at the Open. "I feel I've tried everything over the years," he said.

"I tried to prepare the best I can and I know I have the ability to win a major. I've got to figure out a better way to play the Open. I'll keep searching and trying to put myself into position to challenge."

Westwood did not stop to discuss his prospects after a 73 in which each of his three birdies was followed either by a bogey or the double bogey he took at the eighth. His straight-backed retreat from the recording area said it all. He could not get out of there quick enough. His 35 putts told the tale of his round. It was eight more than the average for the field. Give Westwood those eight shots back and he would have been sharing the clubhouse lead. Give him half of them back, leaving him at level par, and he would have taken his chances over the week.

While Donald and Westwood have yet to win a major title, and time is not on Westwood's side, Graeme McDowell has another problem. The Northern Irishman won the US Open at Pebble Beach last year and starred at the Ryder Cup. But this year he has been consistent only in his inconsistency and a 77 followed his opening 68.

"It is becoming a habit, these types of days," he said. "Maybe my expectation level is putting too much pressure on myself. This is the Open, we are under pressure. We want to do well. Maybe I'm putting a little too hard. I'm a bit of a mental case out there. I love this game and I'm working my ass off but it is not paying off. I'm not thinking very well. It is easy to think well when things are going right, but when things aren't going well, it is very difficult. I need to get back to grinding out rounds and stringing four good rounds together. I couldn't even string two together this week.

"It's anyone's Open right now," he added. "It's wide open. I felt if I kept it at level or a couple over, I'd still have a chance. It's just disappointing and frustrating."

Third Round Tee-off times

Tee-off times in the third round of The 140th Open Championship, Royal St George's GC, Sandwich, Kent, England

(GB & Irl unless stated, all times Local):

(x) denotes amateurs

Starting at hole 1

08.55 Matthew Millar (Aus)

09.05 Paul Lawrie, Gregory Bourdy (Fr)

09.15 Paul Casey, K J Choi (Kor)

09.25 Ryan Moore (US), Gary Woodland (US)

09.35 Simon Khan, Gregory Havret (Fra)

09.45 Floris De Vries (Neth), Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe)

09.55 Henrik Stenson (Swe), Edoardo Molinari (It)

10.05 Peter Uihlein (US), Bill Haas (US)

10.20 Bo Van Pelt (US), Jung-Gon Hwang (Kor)

10.30 Ricky Barnes (US), Tom Watson (US)

10.40 Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Jim Furyk (US)

10.50 Justin Rose, Trevor Immelman (SA)

11.00 Joost Luiten (Neth), Mark Wilson (US)

11.10 Kenneth Ferrie, Harrison Frazar (US)

11.20 Richard McEvoy, Seung-yul Noh (Kor)

11.35 Stewart Cink (US), Stephen Gallacher

11.45 Gary Boyd, Robert Allenby (Aus)

11.55 Bubba Watson (US), Jason Day (Aus)

12.05 Charles Howell III (US), Rory Sabbatini (SA)

12.15 Richard Green (Aus), Raphael Jacquelin (Fr)

12.25 Spencer Levin (US), Sergio Garcia (Sp)

12.35 Rickie Fowler (US), Rory McIlroy

12.50 Yuta Ikeda (Japan), Simon Dyson

13.00 Fredrik Jacobson (Swe), Robert Rock

13.10 Webb Simpson (US), Steve Stricker (US)

13.20 Zach Johnson (US), YE Yang (Kor)

13.30 Anthony Kim (US), Kyle Stanley (US)

13.40 Ryan Palmer (US), Jeff Overton (US)

13.50 Tom Lewis (x), Phil Mickelson (US)

14.05 Adam Scott (Aus), Anders Hansen (Den)

14.15 Dustin Johnson (US), George Coetzee (SA)

14.25 Tom Lehman (US), Davis Love III (US)

14.35 Charl Schwartzel (SA), Pablo Larrazabal (Sp)

14.45 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Sp), Thomas Bjorn (Den)

14.55 Martin Kaymer (Ger), Chad Campbell (US)

15.05 Lucas Glover (US), Darren Clarke

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...