There’s still time for some major shakeups at The Open championship.
While Shane Lowry owned a four-stroke lead as he entered Sunday’s final round of this year’s British Open at 16 under par, there were numerous other golfers not far behind. Tommy Fleetwood entered at 12 under par, JB Holmes was 10 under and 14 golfers were separated by only three strokes behind Holmes at the start of play.
Of the top seven golfers on the leaderboard entering the final round, only two were former majors champions—Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose.
With action underway at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland, live updates can be seen on the leaderboard at TheOpen.com.
Need proof that Lowry’s lead may not be safe on Sunday? Look no further than the last time the Irishman was in this exact same scenario.
At the 2016 U.S. Open, Lowry owned a four-stroke lead entering the final round, but he then shot a six-over 76 and lost to Dustin Johnson by three strokes. Perhaps that prior experience could help Lowry prevent another collapse from happening this weekend.
“It probably doesn’t mean as much to me as it did then, which is going to make it a little bit easier,” Lowry said, according to Golf Digest‘s Ryan Herrington. “I feel like I’m a different person. I don’t think I’m a much different golfer, but I feel like I’m a different person now. I think that’s what will help me.”
Lowry and Fleetwood were the final duo scheduled to tee off on Sunday as they are set to begin at 8:47 a.m. ET/1:47 p.m. BST.
In the pairing that starts 10 minutes before Lowry and Fleetwood are Koepka and Holmes, who will be another interesting duo to watch in the final round. Koepka has won four major tournaments since the start of 2017 and Holmes was tied for the lead with Lowry before the start of the third round.
Although Koepka entered the final round tied for fourth, seven strokes behind Lowry, he may have the best chance of the top contenders to get hot, start performing better on his putts and making a run for his first career win at The Open championship.
Koepka is a former winner at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open, but he has never finished higher than sixth in the British Open.
Another factor that could help Koepka close the gap between him and the golfers ahead of him? The less-than-ideal weather conditions on Sunday.
“I need it,” Koepka said, according to Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge. “Here you need some wind, you need some rain. You need anything that can kind of go your way. … I’ve struck it so good. If it’s going to be windy, you need to be able to strike it good, control your flight and figure out where you want the ball to end up. If it’s going to blow 30 [mph], it can get out of control very quickly.”
With that being said, it could be any of the top golfers on the leaderboard who will best handle those conditions to emerge victorious with the Claret Jug. And while it’s possible Lowry continues to pull away and quickly thwarts the hopes of those behind him, it’s more likely that things are just going to get interesting and competitive in this final round.