Dustin Johnson will have power on his side when he starts out on the final round of the 140th Open Championship.
After three rounds, Johnson is out in front in the Driving Distance statistical table, averaging a massive 334.0 yards from the tee. Among his nearer rivals Anthony Kim (11th with an average of 313.3), Lucas Glover (12th with 313.0), Rickie Fowler (13th with 312.8) and Darren Clarke (15th with 312.5) are no slouches in this department either, but can still expect to be out-hit by about 20-25 yards by the big-hitting 27 year-old from South Carolina.
Despite his length, Johnson is just 18th for the week in Greens in Regulation (with 63%) and in this category Clarke gets his own back, heading the table alongside Glover and Love III with a massive 72% of greens hit, despite the inclement weather. Fowler is tied 11th on 65%.
If, as is often the case, it all comes down to putting, Johnson has a distinct advantage in this department. Going into the last round, he is tied for fourth place in the putting stats with an average of 28 putts a round. Meanwhile, Clarke is down in a share of 24th place, alongside Martin Kaymer, with an average of 29.33 putts a round.
Put it another way, Clarke’s total is almost two putts a round more than the best putter this week. Yes, you guessed it, that’s America’s Steve Stricker, who is averaging 26.67 a round.
Spectators who want to witness a bit of drama might be best advised to head out to the 495-yard par-4 fourth hole, which features the second deepest bunker in England, behind a fairway bunker of the 6th at St Enedoc in Cornwall.
Statistically, the fourth is the hardest hole on the course this week, averaging 4.516. Heading into the last day, it had produced 14 birdies, 193 pars, 147 bogeys, 22 double bogeys and six “others”, meaning that it has been a graveyard for more than one golfer’s hopes.
The easiest hole on the course in the 564-yard par-5 seventh which is currently averaging 4.594. In stark contrast to the fourth, it has provided 11 eagles and 169 birdies, alongside 168 pars, 32 bogeys, only two double bogeys and no “others”.