SOUTHPORT, England -- With 36 holes down and 36 to go at The Open, status quo isn't typical in the third round of a major. Who will be the breakout performer Saturday at Royal Birkdale?
I'm excited to see how far the revival can extend this week. Gut instinct tells me that the dismal start on Thursday, which makes everything thereafter a huge effort, will ultimately act like a wet shirt on a swimmer and drag him back. But great players by definition achieve great things. Six of his past 10 Open Championship rounds have been sub-70. Here's hoping for another. -- Matt Cooper
After flirting with disaster Thursday, McIlroy rebounded to give himself an excellent chance this weekend. He played the middle 18 holes of the 36 so far in 63 strokes, which shows how good his game can be when he figures it out. McIlroy gained some confidence with his comeback, a resurgence he admitted might not always have happened at an earlier point in his career. Now he's in a position (T-6) to pounce. -- Bob Harig
He still hasn't dropped his low one yet. He finished early Friday, so he had plenty of time to relax and recover from the second consecutive 71 he shot. Fowler had 30 putts each round, and on both occasions hit only 11 greens in regulation. Yet when I saw him after the round, he was in good spirits, and we joked about getting the opportunity to put our rain gear to the test. He told me he actually likes playing when the weather gets horrific. That attitude is why he'll make a big move Saturday. -- Michael Collins
Beware the guy playing with house money. As it turns out, Wood needed only a par on his final hole Friday afternoon to make the cut, but he went and holed out for eagle anyway. Now he's 9 strokes back (which might be too many), but as he tees off hours before the leaders, he'll presumably have the advantage of less wind and softer greens. Add to that the fact that he's a strong links player, and I like Wood to make a nice leap on Moving Day. -- Jason Sobel
We still haven't seen DJ reemerge as the dominant force he was before the freak back injury at the Masters, but I think he's closer to putting it all together than people realize. He drove and putted well on Friday to make the cut but failed to hit enough great iron shots. DJ doesn't have much to play for, but he doesn't change his approach whether he's leading or has fallen 10 back. I could see him posting a score in the 60s early. -- Kevin Van Valkenburg