Fri, 13 Dec 2019

4 key moments from the 3rd round of the Open

News24
21 Jul 2019, 07:13 GMT+10

Portrush - Shane Lowry's stunning eight-under par round of 63 has given the Irishman a four-shot lead heading into the final round of the Open Championship on Sunday.

Here is a look at four key moments from Saturdays' third round:

1. Lowry's perfect 10th

Lowry struck the ball sweetly from the start as he showed no signs of nerves despite holding the a joint share of the overnight lead.

The Irishman picked up three shots on the front nine, but it was coming home he streaked clear of the field with five more birdies.

That run started at the 10th despite finding the rough off the tee. His second shot that bounced in perfectly off the contours around the green to within 10 feet of the hole was one of the shots of the tournament.

The Irishman rolled home the resulting birdie putt to move out in front on his own at 12 under and never looked back as he added more birdies at 12, 15, 16 and 17.

2. Westwood a rabbit in the headlights

Lee Westwood knows only too well that the slightest break can be the difference between major winners and nearly men.

Nine times the Englishman has finished in the top three at majors without winning one.

Everything seemed to be going Westwood's way as birdied two, three and four to shoot to the top of the leaderboard on 10-under.

However, at the 10th his tee shot disappeared under a tree and down a rabbit hole, forcing the 46-year-old to take a one-shot penalty drop.

His first dropped shot since the 14th on Thursday followed and Westwood's challenge never recovered as he dropped another shot at 15 to fall back to eight-under and eight off the flawless Lowry.

3. Koepka's bunker break

Brooks Koepka has bemoaned his putting all week as the reason he is not in pole position for a fifth major.

"Nobody has hit it better than me this week. I've hit it as good as I could possibly imagine. I putted the worst in the entire field," said the world number one.

The American passed up a host of chances on the front nine to pull himself back into contention among the leaders, but a lucky break on 15 breathed new life into Koepka's hopes of a first Open Championship.

After finding the sand off the tee, Koepka fired his second shot into the top end of the bunker only to see the ball fortunately roll on towards the green.

From there he saved par and made two birdies coming home at 17 and 18 to move to nine under and remain in the hunt should the pressure get to Lowry on Sunday.

4. Eagle sprouts Rose into life

As the rest of the leading pack made hay on the front nine perfect conditions, Justin Rose needed a few big putts just to keep himself in contention.

The Englishman was even par for the day after 11, but an eagle at 12 kicked the world number three into the life.

Two more birdies followed at 13 and 15 to move Rose briefly to 10-under before dropping back to nine-under with a bogey at 16.

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