British Open 2012 Leaderboard: Shocking Placement for Unknown Golfers

Alex Butler@@alaboutsportsContributor IIIJuly 19, 2012

With Tiger's 1:19 a.m. tee time at the British Open, many of us were still asleep. What we woke up to wasn't a nostalgic fist pump or a bulky gallery, but something unknown.

Australian Adam Scott ripped through Royal Lytham & St Annes with a course-record six-under 64 and tops the leaderboard. Scott told ABC News that he was "playing like there was no tomorrow," while being aided by Thursday's calm conditions.

But maybe the biggest shock so far is the play of a trio of lesser-known names.

Scotland's Paul Lawrie stands at second place at the British Open through 18. Lawrie, who won the British Open in 1999 for his lone major victory, is five-under through 18 and tied with American Zach Johnson for second place. Lee Slattery, the World's 227th ranked golfer, is tied for fourth through 14 at three-under along with fellow Englishman Paul Casey. 

The duo have a shot at pulling ahead of a fourth-place grouping of Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell and Woods.

Ranked 31st in the world, Lawrie has a shot to bag a second major if he can keep keep composure while sandwiched between the World's elite. The Scot told the Daily Record that this week's British Open and last week's Scottish were "the biggest two weeks of the year for me," as he vies for a spot on the European Ryder Cup team.

Slattery is "Aiming For Open glory," according to the Southport Visiter. The 33-year-old told the Visiter he has "worked on a few things with (his) coach, but there is still the odd round that crops up and that is costing (him)." Slattery's highest finish in a major championship came in 2006 when he tied for 26th place, and he hasn't come close to appearing in one since missing the cut in the 2012 US Open.

Woods, still sniffing for his 15th major championship and last since his 2008 US Open victory, wore white and his game was pure to match as he briefly held the lead with a 67. According to Yahoo! Sports' Devil Ball Golf Blogger Jay Busbee, Woods said, "I played a beautiful round of golf today. I'm right there."

We'll see if Woods can stay "right there" until Sunday, when he switches to his token wardrobe.

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