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Clarke, Glover Share Lead as Rain, Wind Dominate British Open

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Rain and wind are playing a key role in the third round of the British Open, where Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Lucas Glover of the U.S. share a one-stroke lead.

Clarke and Glover, who tee off in the day’s final group at 3:05 p.m., are 4-under par at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England.

Steady rain and wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour) have prevented any of the 56 golfers on the course from shooting under par today. Only seven players are currently even-par in their rounds.

“The conditions were brutal,” Australian Matthew Millar, the first man out today, said after a 10-over par 80 left him in next-to-last place at 13-over. “Anyone who shoots par or a couple over today has had a really good knock of it.”

Rain is expected to become heavy for a few hours before clearing in the late afternoon, while wind gusts could reach 40 mph, according to the U.K.’s Met Office. Many of the players were wearing rain suits, ski caps and some, including U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy and playing partner Rickie Fowler, had mittens on between shots.

The weather forced officials to move up the tees on two of the par-4s on the front nine. The fourth hole was shortened to 469 yards from 495 yards, with the eighth at 415 yards from its normal 453.

Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, who was tied for the lead after the first round, American Chad Campbell, U.S. PGA champion Martin Kaymer of Germany, and Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain are all at 3-under. Jimenez and Bjorn will tee off at 2:45 p.m., followed by Campbell and Kaymer 10 minutes later.

Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and 1996 Open champion Tom Lehman of the U.S. both shot 67 to get to 2-under. They’re joined by five others, including Davis Love III, two shots off the pace. A total of 18 golfers began the day within three shots of the leaders.

Tournament favorite McIlroy is 2-over through five holes and 2-over for the tournament. Fowler is even-par for both his round and the championship.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch at Royal St. George’s at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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