Haas looking to fly under the radar


Bill Haas believes he and Andrew Johnston could use their underdog status as an advantage in the final round of The Open at Royal Troon.

Haas and Johnston will play in the penultimate group on Sunday, but have significant ground to make up on the leading duo of Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson, who finished Saturday on 12 and 11 under respectively.

A two-horse race for the Claret Jug has been forecast by many, but Haas - one shot ahead of Johnston at six under - is hoping to spring a shock.

"I think we're both new to this position tomorrow, so I think we'll enjoy it," Haas said of his pairing with Johnston.

"Hopefully we'll feed off each other and push each other a little bit.

"I certainly don't think Phil and Henrik Stenson are feeling the pressure tonight sleeping knowing that Beef [Johnston] and Bill Haas are behind them. So we've got to use that to our advantage and just try to surprise some people.

"With those two quality players in front, you pretty much know I've got to go shoot a score and hopefully that will work out. You can't do anything about what they're doing.

"It's certainly not going to make me play more aggressive than I would today or Thursday. I think Open golf courses pretty much dictate what you have to do. I can't over-power anything. Overall [I'm] just going to have to hit better quality shots."

Englishman Johnston has proven a hugely popular figure at Troon, attracting plentiful support from the galleries.

"Oh, it's been amazing, man. I absolutely love it," he said.

"People come and watch and if they really enjoy themselves, that's what it's about. You want them to go home with good memories and go, oh, my God. I've had such a great day."

Assessing his chances of victory, Johnston said: "I said yesterday, why not? If you come into tournaments and you can't believe you can go and do something, what is the point of playing, if you don't believe or trust yourself or back yourself?

"There's a long way to go. There are 18 holes. The guys are quite far ahead. I'm going to need to play well, and we'll just see what happens."