17 Jul 2011

Clarke in control in Kent

8:18 am on 17 July 2011

Darren Clarke has retained his lead at the British golf Open on another day of tough conditions on the south England coast.

The Royal St George's links course was lashed by rain but the Northern Irishman still posted a one under par third round of 69 to go clear by one stroke over the long-hitting Dustin Johnson, who shot a 68 while fellow American Ricky Fowler was the big mover on day three.

The Californian also carded a 68 to eclipse playing partner and fellow 22-year-old Rory McIlroy and share third place with the Dane Thomas Bjorn, the pair three strokes behind Clarke.

McIlroy's hopes of adding the Open title to last month's US Open victory have effectively been extinguished, the Northern Irishman double-bogeyed the difficult par-five 14th after driving out of bounds - he's four over par overall, eight off the pace in a group headed by five-times Open winner, the veteran American Tom Watson.