British Open Leaderboard 2012: Underdogs Who Are Still in Contention

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 21, 2012

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 20:  Brandt Snedeker of the United States speaks with the media after his six-under par 64 during the second round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club on July 20, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

You only have to trace back to last year to know that anything is possible in the British Open.

That's why when we see two golfers ranked outside the world 100 in serious contention for the 2012 British Open, it actually makes perfect sense.

Darren Clarke shocked the world at 41 years of age last year in Great Britain, posting a five-under-par 275 to beat Phil Mickelson by three strokes.

Will there be another Darren Clarke this year?

Let's look at the underdogs still in contention, beginning with the top-10 leaderboard. 


Player Score Thru
1. Brandt Snedeker -10 36
2. Adam Scott -9 36
3. Tiger Woods -6 36
4. Thorbjorn Olesen -5 36
T5. Paul Lawrie -4 36
T5. Matt Kuchar -4 36
T5. Graeme McDowell -4 36
T5. Jason Dufner -4 36
T5. Thomas Aiken -4 36
10. Ernie Els  -3 36


Brandt Snedeker

How can you not start with Brandt Snedeker?

Snedeker, ranked 29th in the world, had missed three cuts in three career appearances at the British Open before this year. Then, suddenly he exploded, posting a 10-under-par 130 through two rounds.

Snedeker, 31, was 85th in driving accuracy and 124th in greens in regulation headed into the British Open (per, but he's hit 31 of 36 greens thus far at Royal Lytham & St Annes. 



Thorbjorn Olesen

Say it with me, everyone...Thorbjorn...Olesen.

Whether you can pronounce Thorbjorn is beyond the point. The fact of the matter is, the 22-year-old from Denmark is five shots off Snedeker's lead in just his second career appearance at the British Open.

Despite missing the cut at the British Open last year, Olesen has been fantastic this time around, catapulting up the standings on Friday. He posted six birdies on Friday, including on the 17th and 18th holes to close out in style.

Olesen has had four top-10 finishes on the European Tour this year and he's hit 22 of 28 fairways and 26 of 36 greens thus far at the British Open. 


Thomas Aiken

Last but not least we have Thomas Aiken, who was ranked 136th in the world coming into the British Open this year.

Aiken is ranked poorly in basically every area of golf except driving, but driving is mighty important at the British Open. Headed into the first round, Aiken ranked first on tour in driving distance and second in driving accuracy, per

But Aiken has not only hit 23 of 28 fairways at the 2012 British Open, he's hit 25 of 36 greens and is averaging 1.53 putts per hole, well above the field average. 

Why doesn't Aiken golf like this all the time?!

Despite having just one top-10 finish in either tour this year, Aiken has shot at four-under-par 136 through two rounds at the British Open.


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