2011 British Open Leaderboard: Darren Clarke, Dustin Johnson Separate Themselves From The Pack

Through three rounds of the 2011 British Open, nothing has gone according to plan. Before the third major of the year began, all the talk centered on Rory McIlroy, the young phenom who clobbered the field at the US Open just a few weeks ago, and Lee Westwood, the Englishman who's come close, but never broken through in a major. With just 18 holes to play at Royal St. George, Westwood is already back at home after missing the cut, and McIlroy is nine shots off the pace.

If nothing else, we should know by now how unpredictable major championships can be. Mix in whether that can go from nearly unplayable to sunny and calm in a matter of minutes, and you've got a British Open ripe for a surprise winner.

Darren Clarke is a name most likely to fall under the "field" category before the British Open began, not having the name recognition of many of the other contenders. But Clarke has been solid all week, benefiting a bit from nice weather, but mostly from solid ball striking. His putting has been hit-and-miss, but no matter: Clarke will enter the final round atop the leaderboard and with a one-shot advantage at 5-under.

Dustin Johnson made the third round move we've come to expect from him, and finds himself in prime position to capture a major title. Johnson has developed a reputation, fair or not, for his play on Sunday's in a major. He's come close, but faltered. He's began the final round with a lead and collapsed. This time around, however, he's right there at the top of the leaderboard, just behind his playing partner in the final group, Darren Clarke.

Is the lead Johnson and Clarke hold over the field big enough to create a match play scenario? Not at all. As we've seen, anything can happen at the British Open, and no lead is safe. A shift in the weather or a less than solid round from either of the top-two could quickly turn the British Open on its head, creating a wild Sunday of golf across the pond.

For more 2011 British Open news and results, stay with this StoryStream, visit SB Nation's golf hub, and check out our golf blog, Waggle Room. For full 2011 British Open scores, visit the official Open Championship leaderboard.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.