Senior British Open 2021: Stephen Dodd Ties Course Record, Takes 2-Shot Lead

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 24, 2021

Phil Inglis/Getty Images

Have a day, Stephen Dodd.

Dodd shot a blistering eight-under 62 in Saturday's third round of the Senior Open Championship at Sunningdale Golf Club in England. He propelled himself into a two-stroke lead and will look to take home the title Sunday.

PGA TOUR Champions @ChampionsTour

Dodd ties Sunningdale course record! <br><br>Incredible 62 to lead Senior Open. <a href="https://t.co/TRTVkOrHqw">pic.twitter.com/TRTVkOrHqw</a>

Jerry Kelly is alone at two strokes back on a full leaderboard that can be found at EuropeanTour.com.

1. Stephen Dodd, -11

2. Jerry Kelly, -9

3. Darren Clarke, -8

T4. Miguel Angel Jimenez, -7

T4. Paul Broadhurst, -7

T4. Bernhard Langer, -7

Dodd didn't just take the tournament lead on moving day; he also tied the course record with a 62.

He was brilliant from the start and notched six birdies on the front nine. A bogey on the 10th was his only setback, but he more than made up for it with three straight birdies on Nos. 13 through 15.

PGA TOUR Champions @ChampionsTour

251 yards โžก๏ธ 4 feet ๐Ÿ˜ฎ<br><br>Unbelievable golf from Stephen Dodd and he leads the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex. <a href="https://t.co/TNhGAnXPmC">pic.twitter.com/TNhGAnXPmC</a>

That gave him the lead, which he took from Darren Clarke.

Clarke shot a five-under 65 in the first round and three-under 67 in Friday's second round to move to first but took a step back in Saturday's play with an even-par 70. Consistency wasn't much of a problem, but one hole in particular undercut his momentum.

PGA TOUR Champions @ChampionsTour

๐Ÿ‘ <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenClarke60?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DarrenClarke60</a> making it look easy.<a href="https://t.co/en4iO3AGlq">pic.twitter.com/en4iO3AGlq</a>

The two-round leader had three birdies and one bogey in his third round, but his double-bogey on the par-four 17th has him in comeback mode entering the final round.

Completing that comeback would mean history, as Adam Schupak of USA Today noted the 14-time European Tour winner would join Gary Player, Bob Charles and Tom Watson as the only players to win both the British Open and Senior British Open.

Clarke will have to overcome more than just Dodd, as Kelly shot a two-under 68 to move into second place. He has been steady throughout with a 67 in the first round and a 66 in the second round and is two strokes back.

PGA TOUR Champions @ChampionsTour

New leader is <a href="https://twitter.com/jerrykelly13pga?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jerrykelly13pga</a>! <br><br>Four birdies through first 6 holes in Round 3. <a href="https://t.co/ajMPY99uYk">pic.twitter.com/ajMPY99uYk</a>

Bernhard Langer, a four-time winner of the event, is also in the mix despite an up-and-down third round that saw him shoot an even-par 70 behind two birdies and two bogeys. He is the defending champion after winning the 2019 event when it was last played but is four strokes behind Dodd, who seems primed to take his crown.


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