The hype surrounding Tiger Woods and golf's best has been intensified at the British Open, but it is the underrated talents getting it done at Royal Lytham.
Brandt Snedeker posted a whopping score of 10-under par in the first two rounds, as he was one of the highly overlooked players heading into the tournament. His play has been nearly flawless throughout three rounds and he will surely compete for the title come Sunday.
These are Snedeker and the three biggest surprise contenders heading into the final 18 holes of play.
Adam Scott (-11)
Adam Scott has taken this field by storm and is easily one of the major surprises at this year's tournament.
Scott is not only four strokes ahead of the pack, but he is also playing mistake-free golf. He has posted a whopping 15 birdies and just four bogeys—two of which came in the opening round.
Although he is just five-under since the first round of play, he has shown utmost consistency in his drive and putter and continues to dominate the field as a result.
In spite of coming into the tournament at No. 51 on the 2012 PGA Money List, Scott has proven that he is undoubtedly a talent to fear heading into Sunday at Royal Lytham.
Brandt Snedeker (-7)
Before 2012, Brandt Snedeker had never made it to the weekend rounds ever at the British Open.
Yes, not once.
In spite of the struggles at the Open, he was able to post the best score in tournament history through two rounds with a score of 10-under par.
Now, at seven-under par, Snedeker is a four-stroke gap away from stealing the Open title from leader Adam Scott. Snedeker posted a whopping 13 birdies at Royal Lytham and didn't record a single bogey in the first two rounds.
Talk about impressive.
This is a talent that has just four top-10 finishes in 14 events on tour this season. Regardless, he is still finding a way to make adjustments and to compete for an Open title. His putting game has been impeccable, and it's exactly the reason he is second on the leaderboard. This season, he ranks sixth on the tour in this regard at 1.74 putts per hole.
Zach Johnson (-4)
The 2007 Masters champion has had himself a roller coaster of a tournament at Royal Lytham.
After posting a score of five-under par in Round 1, Johnson followed that performance with a four-over par outing in the second round.
Though it seemed as if Johnson was down and out, he came back in Round 3 with another strong showing and posted a score of four-under par.
This is a veteran who has failed to finish in the top-five in any major this season but has put himself in prime position to take the Open championship.
2012 British Open Top-10 Leaderboard After Three Rounds (Courtesy of TheOpen.com):
*Click Here for an Updated Leaderboard