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Dustin Johnson keeps lead on third day of British Open at St Andrews

Dustin Johnson plays from the rough during the

Dustin Johnson plays from the rough during the completion of his second-round 69 on Day 3 of the 2015 British Open Golf Championship on The Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland, on July 18, 2015. Credit: Getty Images / Adrian Dennis

ST ANDREWS, Scotland - The second round of the 2015 British Open took 38 hours, 46 minutes to complete. It started at 6:32 a.m. Friday and finished at 9:18 p.m. Saturday, but despite such an epic circuit of the Old Course at St Andrews -- blighted by a rainstorm and course flooding Friday and relentless high winds Saturday -- not all that much has changed. Dustin Johnson still leads by one, as he did after the first round.

The R&A doesn't keep records on "length of round," but it is likely this was the longest round in the history of 144 British Opens, and in consequence, the Open will finish on a Monday for only the second time (torrential rain in 1988 forced a Monday finish at Royal Lytham and St. Annes).

The main hope now is that the weather, which has dominated thought and talk, can finally find some decorum and let the golf grab some attention.

With 42 players needing to complete their second round at 7 Saturday morning, frustrations began to spill over as gusts of wind blew stationary balls across greens and played havoc with the golfers' scores and nerves. Brooks Koepka refused to address his ball on the green of the par-3 11th -- the most exposed on the course -- and Johnson saw his ball stop on the 14th green, and then roll off just as he was about to mark it. That led to only his second bogey of the championship. When Louis Oosthuizen was about to play a two-foot putt on 13, his ball blew eight feet from the hole.

The R&A blew the horn to stop play at 7:32 and Jordan Spieth shouted across to an official: "We should never have even started."

Soon afterward, Bubba Watson's caddie Ted Scott tweeted: "Every R&A official in player dining is getting yelled at."

Once the winds finally quelled, at least a little, play resumed at 6 p.m. Oosthuizen promptly holed that eight-footer, and Johnson slipped straight back into his groove against a westerly breeze still full of vigor. Pars at 15, 16 and 17 set him up for a birdie finish at the par-4 18th.

"I'm very pleased with my score in round two," Johnson said after his round, after posting 69 for a 10-under-par 134 total for the championship. "This morning when we started, it was almost impossible but I managed to hang in there, and then when we restarted, it was very tough, but I made some good pars and birdied the last hole, so it was a good way to finish."

England's Danny Willett sits a shot behind Johnson, and had the relative luxury of a day off, having completed his second round Friday. A further shot back in third place is Paul Lawrie, the Scot who won the Open at Carnoustie in 1999.

Spieth -- chasing his third straight major title and the man who defeated Johnson in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay -- struggled to find his rhythm in the second round. He ground out a 72 with five three-putts and is tied for 14th, five shots off Johnson's lead. But the 21-year-old has grand intentions for the next two rounds.

"I still believe I can win this golf tournament," Spieth said. "I need a really solid round tomorrow, though, because Dustin is not letting up. Dustin is going to shoot a good round tomorrow with less wind, and I'm going to need to shoot a great round to really give myself a chance. To fall from two back to five back is not exactly what I wanted, but it could have been worse, could have been better. If I can shoot something like 10 under in the last two rounds, I have a chance to win."


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