LYTHAM ST ANNES, England (Reuters) - Brandt Snedeker was frustrated after slumping to a three-over 73 in the British Open third round on Saturday and seeing a one-shot lead turn into a four-stroke deficit on playing partner Adam Scott.
American Snedeker, who shot flawless rounds of 66 and 64 to equal the tournament 36-hole record aggregate, made regular visits to Lytham's bunkers, which he had previously avoided completely, and suffered six bogeys.
"(It was) kind of one of those days, very frustrating," Snedeker told reporters. "Played very poorly on about as easy a course as we're going to see it and I'm not happy with it at all by any means."
The confident and bubbly look on Snedeker's face in the first two rounds gave way to a more downbeat demeanour and, clearly rattled, he appeared to be sliding out of contention completely after making his sixth bogey on the 14th.
But he dug in bravely to birdie the 16th and 18th and leave himself in a share of second place with Graeme McDowell.
"Those two birdies late salvaged what could have been a horrific round into a pretty awful round," he said. "So I've still got a chance tomorrow."
Snedeker should take heart from the manner of his last victory on the U.S. Tour at the Farmers Insurance Open in January when he recovered from a third-round 74 to shoot a closing 67 and beat Kyle Stanley in a playoff.
"I've come from behind before, I can do it again tomorrow." he said. "The conditions will be tough which is good. I still have a chance."
Snedeker could not explain the reasons for his poor form after playing almost immaculately on the first two days at a tournament where he had missed the cut on his previous three appearances.
"I didn't hit the ball very solidly," he said. "I didn't put the ball very well. Just kind of one of those days where you shake your head and wonder what you're doing out there and I hate those."
(Editing by Tony Jimenez)