The 144th Open Championship looks like it’s going to be a thriller down to the very final hole at the famed Old Course at St. Andrews. With inclement weather delaying play on Friday and Saturday, players will start their final rounds on Monday morning, beginning their quest for the coveted Claret Jug. With a tightly packed leaderboard, Monday’s British Open finale will be quite the spectacle, filled with drama and excitement.
Currently, three players share the lead after 54 holes at the Open. Australian Jason Day, South African Louis Oosthuizen, and Irishman Paul Dunne are all leading at 12-under par for the championship. Twenty-one-year old American golfing sensation Jordan Spieth is only a shot behind at 11-under after firing a stellar 66 in his third round. Two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington is in the hunt at 10-under par. Then there are a host of other notable names like Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, and Justin Rose at nine-under who all have realistic chances at contending and winning on Monday.
Perhaps the two biggest story lines heading into the final round of this week’s British Open are Jordan Spieth potentially winning his third consecutive major and the amateur Paul Dunne leading the tournament.
Spieth is in an optimal position to capture the third leg of the unprecedented calendar year Grand Slam which includes The Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, and PGA Championship. Ben Hogan was the last golfer to win the first three majors in a calendar year back in 1953, and now Spieth is only 18 holes away from equaling that record and making a little history of his own. He tees off in the second to last pairing on Monday to begin that quest, and what a remarkable story it would be if he could pull it off with a victory.
Then there is Paul Dunne, a 22-year old amateur who is looking to make a little history of his own. He is currently tied for the lead and looking to become the first amateur to win the British Open since Bobby Jones in 1930. Dunne shot a solid third round 66 and seemed just as calm and composed as Jordan Spieth on a major championship stage. The amateur golfer will tee off in the final grouping on Monday in his pursuit of winning the British Open. It’s hard not to root for both Spieth and Dunne, considering the fact that both have a chance at accomplishing different feats that haven’t been done in the past half a century or so.
There’s no doubt that the finale at the Open will be a thriller. With so many notable names within striking distance, it really is anyone’s championship for the taking. Add in the significance of what a Spieth victory or a Dunne victory would mean and this Open is all the more special. And all we can really hope for is a thrilling finish that will leave us captivated until the very last putt falls and the victor is crowned at St. Andrews.
[Image via NextStories.]