After 22 year old Rory McIlroy's US Open victory last month, it was the turn of 40-somethings Darren Clarke and Phil Mickelson to head the battle for The 140th Open Championship.
Clarke, 42, took a one shot lead into the final round at Royal St George's, and must have been delighted to cover the front nine in 33 shots despite more bad weather.
But 41 year old Mickelson had played the same stretch in just 30 shots to charge into contention for a fifth Major title as he and Clarke began to pull away from the field.
Mickelson has managed just one top-ten finish in 17 Open appearances - third at Troon in 2004 - but looked to be benefiting from his decision to play this week as if he was starting from scratch.
The World Number Six birdied the second, fourth and sixth before rolling in a 25 foot putt for eagle on the seventh to join Clarke in the lead.
Clarke had birdied the second and bogeyed the fourth, but then matched Mickelson's eagle on the seventh from similar range to reclaim a two shot advantage.
Mickelson cut it to one with another birdie on the tenth, but then missed from just three feet for par on the 11th to fall two behind once more.
Spain's Sergio Garcia had set the clubhouse target on two over par after a 68 that threatened to be so much better.
Garcia carded four birdies in his first seven holes, but then ran up a double bogey on the eighth before two more birdies and two bogeys on the back nine.
Playing partner McIlroy finished seven over par after struggling to a 73 which saw him call a one shot penalty on himself on the seventh green when his ball moved in a gust of wind as he addressed it.
Mickelson saved par after missing the 12th green, but was unable to repeat the trick on the next and fell three behind Clarke, who had parred the tenth and 11th.
Rickie Fowler was also on a run of pars, the young American having made 12 of them in a row so far to remain two under par, five behind Clarke.
Mickelson's hopes evaporated when he missed a short birdie attempt on the 14th and bogeyed the next, and it looked as though Johnson would be the man to challenge Clarke.
After playing the front nine almost unnoticed in one over, Johnson picked up birdies on the tenth and 12th and looked in good shape to card another when he split the fairway on the par four 14th.
But the 27 year old then carved his second shot out of bounds to run up a double-bogey seven, leaving Clarke four shots clear with four to play.