Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson continued to dominate this year’s Open Championship on day three, and it now looks like one of the two will be left holding the Claret Jug at the end of the week.
After Mickelson dominated day one and Stenson played the best round of the second day, the scene was set for the two to battle it out at the top of the leaderboard. The pair swapped positions several times throughout the day, but when all was done it was the Swede Stenson, finishing on twelve-under-par, who was a shot clear of American Mickelson.
Despite being a Ryder Cup veteran and a fixture in the top ten of the rankings, Stenson has never won a Major. The 40-year-old will be hoping to break his duck by the end of the tournament, and may never get a better chance to do so. However, Mickelson has been there and done it all before, having won the tournament back in 2013, winning five Majors in total throughout his career.
While it likely Stenson or Mickelson will be The Open champion by the end of the week, there will be others who still fancy their chances of emerging victorious. American Bill Haas is in third, sitting six shots below the leader. If the two men above him have poor rounds, Haas may still be in the running. Englishman Andrew Johnston has been the surprise package of the week and is on five-under-par. Johnston is likely to finish the week as the leading British player. JB Holmes is a shot further back, after shooting his best round of the tournament on day three.
There are a host of players on three-under. Soren Kjeldsen shot a third round 75 to lose touch with the leaders, but the Dane will still be hoping for an unlikely victory. He is joined by American pair Tony Finau and Steve Stricker on three-under for the tournament.
Sergio Garcia and Patrick Reed are on two-under, while English trio Tyrrell Hatton, Andy Sullivan and Matthew Southgate are on one-under for the tournament.
With the final day approaching, it looks as though it will be a straight out battle between Mickelson and Stenson. However, if history tells us anything, it is that anything is possible at this famous old tournament, and while the leaders are in pole position to win the trophy, those in the chasing pack will not be giving up just yet.