Pundits have been saying it’s only a matter of time. But Jason Day’s time could be now.

The gritty Aussie is one of several players on a packed British Open leaderboard hoping to spoil Jordan Spieth’s Grand Slam party tonight as St Andrews braces for another red-number shootout.

Day is in a three-way share of the lead at 12-under with South Africa’s 2010 St Andrews champion Louis Oosthuizen and Irish amateur Paul Dunne. Amazingly there are 22 players bunched within five shots of the lead as the Open prepares for one of its most dramatic final rounds in recent memory.

Showing no signs of the vertigo that crippled his US Open chances in June, Day will leave no stone unturned in his bid to become the first Aussie to lift the claret jug since Greg Norman – and the first to do it at the Old Course since Kel Nagle famously beat Arnold Palmer way back in 1960.

“I always wanted to be the first Aussie to win the Masters, but you know, Scotty (Adam Scott) beat me to it,” Day said after his third-round.

“Since we haven’t had an Aussie win the Claret Jug since Mr Norman, it would be nice to put my name on the Jug.

“We’re just trying to chase that bit of immortality.

“That’s probably the best way to put it is just that you’re stuck in history at that moment, and you know that that year, that person’s name on that Jug is immortal in some way.

“It’s just great to be able to have that piece of history and that glory that goes along with it.”

VIDEO: JASON DAY ON PLAYING MAJORS: http://australiangolfdigest.com.au/?p=1555

To add his name to golf’s Holy Grail, Day will have to hold off a rampaging Spieth, who fired a third-round 66 to get himself within one shot of the lead.

Spieth collected seven birdies as overnight leader Dustin Johnson crashed to 7-under and five off the pace after a disappointing round of 75.

“At this point it’s free rolling,” Spieth said.

“I’m going to play to win – I’m not playing for a place. I don’t want to place third tomorrow. I want to win.

“I’m going to play my game, obviously with patience, to stay in the mix if it’s not all there in the beginning. And if it is, I’m going to continue to play that way to try and get out in front. Just trying to give myself as many chances as I can.”

In what has been an amazing week for the Aussie contingent, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman (-9) and Steven Bowditch (-8) are all realistic chances of lifting the trophy, while Greg Chalmers and Matt Jones (-6), along with Marcus Fraser and Geoff Ogilvy (-5) won’t die wondering with a final-round birdie blitz.

They don’t call Day Three “Moving Day” for nothing. Leishman played one of the rounds of his life as he went within a whisker of shooting a 62 and setting the all-time 18-hole scoring record in a Major championship. While he fell short, it’s not often you shoot a 64 in the Open, at St Andrews, and from being an also ran in his fifth Open Championship to a potential dark-horse. He’ll also take good vibes from shooting a closing 65 a year ago at Hoylake to finish T-5.

“Probably wasn’t quite expecting to do what I did, but I really put myself in it,” he said after his round. “But if I can do the right things and do things well, there’s no reason why I can’t have another good one tomorrow.”


C’mon Aussies!

The Australians

-12 Jason Day

-9 Marc Leishman, Adam Scott

-8 Steven Bowditch

-6 Greg Chalmers, Matt Jones

-5 Marcus Fraser, Geoff Ogilvy

-4 John Senden

-3 Brett Rumford

+1 Scott Arnold