Leader Johnson holds firm at wind-lashed Open

Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:51pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - More than 24 hours after Dustin Johnson began his second round at the wind-lashed British Open he ended it still on top of the leaderboard on Saturday with Jordan Spieth trailing by five shots in a tournament that will now run into a fifth day.

With the wild Scottish weather showing scant regard for the world's oldest major, Johnson finally completed the third installment of his round to card a three-under 69.

    A birdie after he drove the green on the par-four 18th saw Johnson lead with a 10-under total of 134, one shot better than England's Danny Willett, who had a nice relaxed day in the clubhouse, and five ahead of grand slam-chasing Spieth who is tied for 14th.

    Scotland's Paul Lawrie, champion in 1999, completed a two-under 70 with eight straight pars to sit two shots back.

    South Africa's Louis Oosthuisen, the last winner at St Andrews, and Australian Jason Day joined a log-jam on seven-under 137 which includes former Masters champions Zach Johnson and Adam Scott, both of whom enjoyed a day off.

    Willett had also completed his second round 69 on rain-hit Friday before darkness left 42 of the 156-strong field stranded and requiring an early alarm call on Saturday.

    Only about half an hour was possible though at the start of the day as predicted winds gusting to 50mph swept in and began blowing balls around on the greens, forcing a suspension.

    During a 10 and a half hour wait, organizers issued regular updates before finally conceding defeat and announcing that the third round would be played on Sunday, with the fourth round on Monday for only the second time in its 144-year history.   Continued...

Dustin Johnson of the U.S. hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Childs