Irish Open Day Three

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are in pursuit of the leaders on another sun-drenched day in Donegal

RuaidhrĂ­ Croke Sat, Jul 7
 
LIVE: Irish Open Day Three

Sort by:

  • Latest first
  • Oldest first
  • This event has now ended
  • 11:03

    Good afternon and welcome to the third round of the 2018 Irish Open for what is another beautiful day in north-western Donegal as the 76 players who made the cut do battle with Ballyliffin.

    I'm Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be with you for the afternoon as the Irish contingent of Simon Thornton, Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Paul Dunne look to close the gap on leaders Matthieu Pavon, Erik Van Rooyen and Ryan Fox.

    You can get involved by using the 'Contact Us' button at the top of the blog or you can get me on Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke.

    DDF Irish Open Third Round tee-times (Irish in bold)

    07:11 Ford, Rock;
    07:20 Hebert, Sullivan;
    07:29 Drysdale, Guerrier;
    07:38 Dredge, Bland;
    07:47 Pieters, Dunne;
    07:56 Romero, Dodt
    08:05 Brooks, Larrazábal;
    08:19 Warren, Gouveia;
    08:28 Hanson, Stone;
    08:37 Saddier, McDowell;
    08:46 Porteous, Ramsay;
    08:55 Bjørn, Manassero;
    09:04 Aiken, Fichardt;
    09:13 Wattel, Wang;
    09:27 Bourdy, Ormsby;
    09:36 Choi, Kjeldsen;
    09:45 Horsey, Rahm;
    09:54 Frittelli, Otaegui;
    10:03 Jamieson, Southgate;
    10:12 Dantorp, Morrison;
    10:26 Aguilar, Rai;
    10:35 Jaidee, Elvira;
    10:44 Suri, McIlroy;
    10:53 Sterne, Thornton;
    11:02 Paratore, Fisher;
    11:11 Colsaerts, Ilonen;
    11:25 Fernandez - Castaño, Coetzee;
    11:35 Lowry, Björk;
    11:45 Waring, Wood;
    11:55 Chesters, Miyazato;
    12:05 Jacquelin, Campillo;
    12:15 Nixon, Olesen;
    12:30 Bezuidenhout, Burmester;
    12:40 Uihlein, Knox;
    12:50 Horsfield, Westwood;
    13:00 Lombard, Willett;
    13:10 Van Rooyen, Lagergren;
    13:20 Pavon, Fox

    SCORES
    -8: Erik Van Rooyen, Matthieu Pavon, Ryan Fox

    -7: Joakim Lagergren

    -6: Sam Horsfield, Zander Lombard, Danny Willett

    -5: Lee Westwood

    -4: Adrien Saddier (9), Haydn Porteous (9), Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Peter Uihlein, Russell Knox

    Irish in action: -2 Simon Thornton, -2 Shane LOwry, -1 Graeme McDowell (10), -1 Rory McIlroy, +1 Paul Dunne (13)

  • 11:16

    It's been a remarkable two days on the Glashedy Links at Ballyliffin so far with some of the best players in the world struggling to come to grips with this stretch of Irish coastline despite the perfect conditions. Rafa Cabrera Bello, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Pádraig Harrington are among those big names to miss the cut while defending champion Jon Rahm managed to scrape in.

    Another spectacular day has dawned in Inishowen this morning and scoring conditions again look perfect. Some of the names at the top of the leaderboard aren't exactly the most heralded but former US Masters champion Danny Willett is well-placed to perhaps pull off a redemption win after two years of misery and a huge slide down the world rankings to a current placing of 442. Another interesting aspect of Willett's good play over the first day is that he'll today partner Sweden's Joakim Lagergren in an England v Sweden sideshow to what's going on in Samara at 3pm. To add even further to that, Willett is half-Swedish himself as his mother hails from the Scandinavian country.

    One behind Willett is is European Tour stalwart Lee Westwood who is looking for a first win since 2015 and perhaps even a place in the Ryder Cup team for which he's already been named as a vice-captain.

    And what of the Irish? Well much of the hopes will lie on the shoulders of Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry who are both looking to win this title for a second time. McIlroy is currently on course and got off to the perfect start with a birdie at his first hole but he has just followed it with a bogey at the second to slip back to -1. Over the first two days he has been absolutely sublime from tee to green but his putting has really let him down, as it does on so many occasions. If he's managed to figure something out or if he just gets a little bit more luck on the greens he could fly up this leaderboard.

    As for Lowry it was a battling day yesterday to card a round of 70 and he will get underway at 11.35am full in the knowledge of how much it would mean to the fans for him to have a run at the leaders but also well aware that he is in need of some good finishes to move up the world rankings and, if a win or two were to come his way, perhaps book a place on the Ryder Cup team.

    Simon Thornton is perhaps the surprise Irish package after after impressive opening rounds of 72 and 70 and he's just parred his opening hole to remain at -2. The 41-year-old Royal County Down man has one European Tour win to his name back in 2013 at the Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open in France. Thornton doesn't compete very often on tour anymore but a strong finish here would bring in some very welcome prize money from what is a highly lucrative tournament.

    Further back Graeme McDowell remains level par for the tournament through 12 holes while Paul Dunne is +1 through 15 and +2 for the tournament after two birdies, a bogey and a double bogey.

  • 11:25

    Despite the good weather the players have struggled to come to grips with this links course over the first few days with scoring perhaps not as low as many expected. However, a few favourable pins and a lack of wind today could change that and make it an exciting moving day.

    One man who has flown up the leaderboard is Andy Sullivan. The Englishman started the day at the +1 and right at the back of the field but, as it stands, he's tied fifth after a bogey-free round of 65 which included seven birdies to move to -6. He'll fall back as the day goes on but it's certainly an indicator of the conditions.

    Another man on the move is defending champion Jon Rahm. The Spaniard recovered from an opening 74 with a 69 yesterday and has continued that good form today with four birdies and a bogey in his opening seven holes moving him up to -4 and tied-10th.

  • 11:34

    Our man at Ballyliffin - Philip Reid - has been churning out the good stuff all week and you can read some of it below, starting with his report from day two.

    Shane Lowry stays in the hunt as fiery Ballyliffin bares teeth

    One of the main topics of conversation over the first few days has been Rory McIlroy's continued poor putting. In his last PGA Tour start he was ranked number one in the field strokes gained tee to green but stone dead last in strokes gained putting. On Thursday in Donegal he used his putter 32 times, on Friday it was 34 times. It couldn't be any clearer what the problem is but then, as all golfers know, finding some form on the greens can be the hardest part of the game.

    Rory McIlroy's hot and cold putting still his nemesis

  • 11:43

    Three pars in a row to start for Thornton keeps him at -2. That's a solid first few holes from the 41-year-old and should settle any nerves.

    Meanwhile, Dunne has birdied the 17th to get back to level par for the day and +1 for the tournament while McDowell remains level for the tournament through 13.

    A par at the third for McIlroy has been followed by his second birdie of the day at the fourth and he's now back up to -2.

    But Rahm again looks to be the man to watch after he rolled in his fifth birdie of the day at the eighth to get to -5 for the tournament and now just three of that very inexperienced trio at the top of the leaderboard. He's behind you...

  • 11:45

    Rahm is absolutely tearing this place to pieces today. After that birdie at the eighth he's followed up with another birdie at the ninth - his sixth of the front nine - to go out in 30 shots and move into a tie for fifth at -6.

    He's not going to let this title go easy...

  • 11:49

    A par at the final hole for Dunne completes a round of 72 and he will go into the final day at +1.

    Back at the first Shane Lowry has just bogeyed his first hole to drop back to +1. That's a disappointing start and, now seven off the lead, he really can't afford anymore slip-ups.

  • 11:57

    McIlroy pars the Par 3 fifth hole to remain at -2 and six behind.  

    Back at the fourth it's another par for Thornton and he stays at the same mark.

  • 12:00

    There is still an hour and 20 minutes to go before the leaders tee off but already we've had plenty of moves with Rahm the biggest so far.

    SCORES
    -8: Erik Van Rooyen, Matthieu Pavon, Ryan Fox

    -7: Joakim Lagergren

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (10), Sam Horsfield, Zander Lombard, Danny Willett

    -5: Lee Westwood

    -4: Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Peter Uihlein, Russell Knox

    Irish in action: -2 Rory McIlroy (5), -2 Simon Thornton (4), -1 Shane Lowry (1), E Graeme McDowell (15), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 12:09

    Birdie for McIlroy!

    The 2016 champion's putter seems to be behaving a little better today and he's just rolled in his third birdie of the day at the Par 4 sixth to move to three under and now five behind the leaders. As has been said, his tee to green game is second to none worldwide at the moment, if the putts start dropping no one will beat him.

    Rahm has started his back nine with two pars to remain at -6 while a par for Lowry at the second leaves him at -1 and a fifth consecutive par for Thornton means he stays at -2.

  • 12:20

    One step forward, one step back.

    That's been the story for McIlroy in his first seven holes today. After that birdie at the sixth he has followed it with a bogey at the Par 3 seventh and is now back to -2 for the tournament alongside Thornton who has made another par at the sixth.

    Lowry has also parred the third and remains at -1.

  • 12:33

    It's a par for McIlroy at the eighth and he remains -2. The looks of exasperation on the greens today have been less than the first two days but they're still there at times. He needs birdies and he needs them fast.


    As does Lowry who remains -1 through 3 while Thornton has dropped his first shot of the day at the seventh and slips back to -1.

  • 12:37

    Paul McGinely, speaking on Sky Sports, reckons -5 or -6 is the mark for McIlroy to get to today as he doesn't see the three leaders going much further past -8 and, if anything, they may come back.

    The wind is getting up and will get stronger throughout the afternoon which may leave the door open for Rahm who is already at -6 with six holes to play.

  • 12:41

    SCORES
    -8: Erik Van Rooyen, Matthieu Pavon, Ryan Fox

    -7: Joakim Lagergren

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (12), Sam Horsfield, Zander Lombard, Danny Willett

    -5: Jorge Campillo (3), Lee Westwood

    -4: Ashley Chesters (1), Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Peter Uihlein, Russell Knox

    Irish in action: -2 Rory McIlroy (8), Simon Thornton (7), -1 Shane Lowry (4), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 12:45

    Rahm's birdie putt at the 13th shaves th left edge of the hole and stays out. He remains at -6.

    A few spots of rain are now beginning to fall but they won't have any impact on conditions and should blow over. It's the wind that's causing a bit of trouble, more than anything.

    But for McIlroy it's, once again, the putter that's the issue. At the ninth he has missed another par putt, this one on the left, to drop another shot ad slip back to -1 and now seven off the lead.

  • 12:50

    The rain is coming down now and the breeze is up. We're getting more towards a proper links day then we have at any stage on Thursday or Friday.  

    At the 10th McIlroy has sent his tee shot way right into the heavy rough. He'll need a bit of luck and a good lie there.

    Over at the 13th Rahm has parred the 14th to remain at -6 while, back at the first, Lee Westwood has just teed off.

  • 12:54
    From the hay on the 10th McIlroy forced a wedge up to greenside and pitches down to seven feet. That's another tester for par...
  • 12:57

    And he makes it. Thank goodness for that. That would have really knocked him back if that had missed. As it is McIlroy remains at -1.

    At the first Westwood is having an absolute nightmare. After driving in the bunker he went to try and hit a high shot up and out to get on the green but his shot cannoned into the face of the bunker and came back to his feet. From there he's switched to a sand wedge, splashed out and now needs to get up and down from 40 yards just to save bogey. An ugly start.

  • 13:00

    The rain has stopped and the sun is back out as McIlroy canes a driver down the 11th fairway, leaving no more than a flick of a wedge for his second shot. He needs a charge and a half over these last eight holes to get into contention.

    Over at the fifth it's been a frustrating day so far for Lowry as he watches another birdie putt come up short and remains at -1.

  • 13:04

    At the 15th Rahm found the hay with his tee shot but managed to hack out and has beautifully pitched up to six feet. That's to save his par and remain at -6.

    One or two more birdies in his last few holes and he will be right in this tomorrow.

  • 13:08

    Westwood did very well to get up and down and save his bogey at the first but he does slip back to -4. Alongside him it's also a bogey for Horsfield who is now -5.

    Back to McIlroy at 11th . After that huge drive it's a so-so approach which comes up short of the pin and spins back down into a hollow, leaving a tough birdie putt.

  • 13:12

    Shane Lowry comes within inches of a hole-in-one!

    So nearly a spectacular moment for Lowry at the seventh. His tee shot pitched pretty much on the edge of the hole, almost going straight in and rolling out to five feet. However he's gone and missed the birdie putt!

    That's a shocker from the Offalyman and he remains at -1 alongside McIlroy who has two-putted the 11th.

    Over at the 15th Rahm saved his par and remains at -6.

    SCORES
    -8: Erik Van Rooyen, Matthieu Pavon, Ryan Fox

    -7: Joakim Lagergren

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (12), Zander Lombard, Danny Willett

    -5: Jorge Campillo (5), Sam Horsfield (1)

    -4: Ashley Chesters (5), Thorbjorn Olesen (4), Lee Westwood (1)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (11), Simon Thornton (10), -1 Shane Lowry (7), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 13:13
    Apologies, Lowry did, in fact, make that birdie putt at the seventh. However, he still remains -1 because he had bogeyed the sixth.
  • 13:20

    McIlroy, at the 12th, sends a beautiful sand wedge from 114 yards in to six feet and will have that for birdie to get back to -2.

    Over at the second Westwood has made up straight away for his bogey at the first with a lovely birdie and he moves back to -5.  

    Rahm's birdie putt at the 16th slides right and misses and he stays at -6.

  • 13:22

    At the first tee the final group of Matthieu Pavon and Ryan Fox are ready to go.

    Frenchman Pavon is up first and pulls a three-wood a little left into the rough.  

    Fox takes a long iron and smacks one straight down the fairway.

    The rain is lashing down now! Five minutes ago the sun was shining!

  • 13:25

    McIlroy has missed another short putt.

    After that lovely approach to the 12th his six foot birdie putt once again misses left. So many have missed left today and something really has to change.

    No such problems for Lowry at the eighth who has made it back-to-back birdies and is now up to 2.

    Burt we have a new leader!

    After a perfectly played opening hole South Africa's van Rooyen has rolled in a putt for birdie and is now up to -9.

    SCORES
    -9: Erik Van Rooyen (1)

    -8: Matthieu Pavon, Ryan Fox

    -7: Joakim Lagergren (1)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (12), Zander Lombard (1), Danny Willett (1)

    -5: Jorge Campillo (5), Lee Westwood (2)

    -4: Ashley Chesters (6), Thorbjorn Olesen (5)

    Irish in action: -2 Shane Lowry (8), -1 Rory McIlroy (12), E Simon Thornton (11), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 13:30

    Willett has had some major trouble at the second and has to hole a six foot putt just to save double bogey. He slips back to -4 and now five behind.

    It's rainy, it's grey and it's windy at Ballyliffin now!

    At the Par 5 17th Rahm has had to lay up after pulling his drive left. He'll have up and down from about 50 yards for another birdie to get to -7.

  • 13:33

    At the first Fox and Pavon have both opened with pars to remain at -8, now one behind Van Rooyen.

    Speaking of van Rooyen, he's in a spot of bother at the second after driving into the heavy rough but he manages to muscle one out and up to the green where it kicks off a hump and rolls out to three feet!

    From staring a bogey in the face he now has a short birdie putt to take a two-shot lead.

  • 13:36

    Back to Rahm we go at the 17th. From 55 yards he sends a low spinner in which grips up probably a bit more than he expected on the wet greens, leaving him with seven feet for birdie to get to -7.


    At the Par 5 13th McIlroy pulled his drive left but managed to find a good lie. However, with the ball well below his feet he can't get it to the green. He'll have about 60 yards of an up-and-down for a much-needed birdie.

  • 13:40

    Rahm's birdie putt at thw 17th comes up inches short and he throws his putter down in frustration. That's eight pars in a row now on the back nine but he is still well in this at -6.

    At the ninth Lowry has followed his two consecutive birdies with a bogey and is now back to -1.

    But van Rooyen now holds a two-shot lead!

    That's after he took full advantage of the nice kick at the second to slot home his birdie putt and move to -10.

    SCORES
    -10: Erik Van Rooyen (2)

    -8: Matthieu Pavon (1), Ryan Fox (1)

    -7: Joakim Lagergren (2)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (17), Zander Lombard (3)

    -5: Ashley Chesters (7), Jorge Campillo (7), Lee Westwood (23

    -4: Thorbjorn Olesen (6), Danny Willett (3)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (12), -1 Shane Lowry (9), E Simon Thornton (12), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 13:46

    Yet again it's the same story for McIlroy at the 13th as he watches another birdie putt slide past. He is getting more and more frustrated as each hole goes past. He remains at -1.

    At the third the leader, van Rooyen, has sprayed his tee shot way right again and could be in trouble.

    Meanwhile, at the 18th, Rahm has sent a gorgeous approach in to 12 feet. That's for a 66 and to post -7.

  • 13:48

    Van Rooyen does well to force his second shot out of the heavy rough and up onto the green at the third, leaving 25 feet for birdie.

    At the Par 3 14th McIlroy has sent another lovely approach in to 12 feet. Let's see how that putt goes.

  • 13:51

    Rahm's birdie putt at the 18th is a little too firm, catches the left edge and stays out. That is frustrating because that was a good putt but it's still a round of 67 for the defending champion and he goes to the clubhouse at -6.

  • 13:54

    McIlroy's latest birdie putt at the 14th turns left and stays out. The shoulders slump, the head goes back and the frustration deepens. Just one of those weeks, it seems.

    At the 13th Thornton has picked up his first birdie of the day to get back to -1 alongside Lowry and McIlroy.

  • 13:59

    After that double at the second Willet settled with a par at the third and has now just birdied the fourth to get back to -5.

    Also at that mark is Westwood who has parred the fifth.

  • 14:05

    It's a struggle for Lowry today and it's continued on the 11th with another bogey which knocks him back to where he was before consecutive birdies at the eighth and the ninth. He's now level par.

    At -1 is McIlroy who has parred the 15th after his long birdie putt stopped right in the jaws.

  • 14:13

    Erik van Rooyen is showing absolutely no signs of nerves and has just moved to -3 through four holes and -11 for the tournament after a lovely up-and-down from the bunker at the Par 5 fourth.

    The South African now leads by three shots from Pavon and Fox.

    After that light shower the course has softened up ever so slightly and the wind has completely died. This is as easy as the course has played all week and van Rooyen is taking advantage.

    SCORES
    -11: Erik Van Rooyen (4)

    -8: Matthieu Pavon (3), Ryan Fox (3)

    -7: Joakim Lagergren (4)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Zander Lombard (5)

    -5: Dylan Frittelli (F:68), Jorge Campillo (9), Lee Westwood (6), Danny Willett (5)

    -4: Ashley Chesters (10), Thorbjorn Olesen (9), Russell Knox (7)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (15), -1 Simon Thornton (14), E Shane Lowry (11), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 14:16

    At the 16th McIlroy has sent another lovely wedge in to five feet and has that for a birdie. It's certainly not the wedge game that's the problem at the moment.

    At the Par 5 fourth Fox has played a beautiful bunker shot to tap-in distance and finished out for his first birdie of the day to move to -9.

    Alongside him Pavon can only manage par and remains at -8 but here's the most interesting thing - with his third shot (a delicate pitch over the bunker) he played it crosshanded! Maybe he's been watching some hurling while he's in Ireland or maybe he just always does it. I'll keep an eye on it.

  • 14:18

    It was more like 12 feet than five feet for McIlroy at the 16th but that doesn't matter as a putt finally, finally, finds the bottom of the hole!

    That moves McIlroy to -2 and prompts a raise of the arms and a cheer from the gallery.

    Back at the Par 3 fifth Lagergren has made his first birdie of the day and he joins Pavon at -8.

  • 14:19
  • 14:26
    It' turning into a nightmare day for Lowry as another bogey - this time at the 12th - knocks him back to +1.
  • 14:33

    Fox has company at -9 thanks to a birdie from Lagergren at the sixth.

    Back at the fifth van Rooyen has made his par and remains two clear at -11.

    At the Par 5 16th McIlroy looked to really cut the hole down the size with a big drive but he's sprayed it right. That will most likely stop him going for the green in two.

    SCORES
    -11: Erik Van Rooyen (6)

    -9: Joakim Lagergren (6), Ryan Fox (5)

    -8: Matthieu Pavon (3)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Zander Lombard (7)

    -5: Dylan Frittelli (F:68), Jorge Campillo (11), Thorbjorn Olesen (10), Russell Knox (9), Lee Westwood (8), Danny Willett (7)

    Irish in action: -2 Rory McIlroy (16), -1 Simon Thornton (16), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72), Shane Lowry (13)

  • 14:35
    No birdie for McIlroy at the 17th after that wayward tee shot and he remains at -2.
  • 14:37

    Fox's tee shot at the Par 4 sixth went way right into the deep, deep rough and has resulted in a bogey and he slips back to -8, leaving Lagergren on his own in second at -9.

  • 14:41

    Van Rooyen leads by three!

    What a putt from the South African! After a slightly pulled tee shot at the Par 3 seventh left a good 50 feet for birdie he's rolled it into the middle for his fourth birdie of the day to get to -12. What a start this has been. Can he keep it going?

    At the 14th Lowry has responded with a birdie and is now back to level par.

    SCORES
    -12: Erik Van Rooyen (7)

    -9: Joakim Lagergren (7)

    -8: Matthieu Pavon (6), Ryan Fox (6)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Russell Knox (10), Zander Lombard (7)

    -5: Dylan Frittelli (F:68), Jorge Campillo (11), Thorbjorn Olesen (11), Lee Westwood (9)

    Irish in action: -2 Rory McIlroy (17), -1 Simon Thornton (16), E Shane Lowry (14), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 14:47

    This is incredibly impressive stuff from van Rooyen and he's threatening to run away with the whole thing. After missing the fairway right once again with his drive at the eighth he's send another stunning iron shot in to three feet. That's to go -5 for the day and move four shots clear!

    Over at the 18th McIlroy again sprayed his tee shot way right but has done well to force his second shot up into the greenside bunker.

  • 14:53

    Van Rooyen makes no mistake with that tap-in at the eighth and moves to -13 but he's now just three ahead as Lagergren also managed to birdie the same hole thanks to a monster putt from off the green!

  • 14:54

    At the 18th McIlroy fails to get up-and-down from that bunker and drops a shot. That's a very disappointing round of 72 for the tournament host and he will go into the final day at -1.

    SCORES
    -13: Erik Van Rooyen (8)

    -10: Joakim Lagergren (8)

    -8: Matthieu Pavon (7), Ryan Fox (7)

    -7: Russell Knox (11)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Thorbjorn Olesen (12), Lee Westwood (9), Zander Lombard (9)

    -5: Dylan Frittelli (F:68), Jorge Campillo (11),

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (F:72), -1 Simon Thornton (17), E Shane Lowry (15), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 14:55
    Russell Knox is the latest player to make a move with birdies at the 10th and 11th getting him to -7 and six behind. Knox, remember, pushed McIlroy all the way at the K Club in 2016 and seems to like this tournament.
  • 15:00

    It's a second dropped shot in three holes for Fox, the latest coming at the eighth, and he drops back to -7.

    Alongside him Pavon manages to make his par and he stays at -8.

  • 15:02

    Van Rooyen leads by four!

    There is no stopping this man! At the ninth he's just rolled in another beautiful birdie putt to get to -6 for the day and into a four shot lead at -14. That's just 29 shots for the front nine and no one can keep pace with the South African at the moment.  

    Lagergren's birdie putt slips past the left edge and he is now four behind.

  • 15:04

    This is some seriously impressive stuff from a man who has only ever won a Challenge Tour event and a Sunshine Tour event and is currently ranked 163 in the world.


    It's going to be interesting to see if he can keep this going, surely he has to let up at some stage.

  • 15:10

    Pavon was tied for the lead overnight and has made nine pars in a row but is now six of the lead.

    Such is the quality of golf being played by van Rooyen. At the 10th he sent his drive way right into the hay but he's getting the breaks now as well. A good lie allowed him to muscle a shot up and into the middle of the green, leaving 30 feet for birdie.

  • 15:19

    A birdie at the 17th moves Lowry back to -1. But it's been a very disappointing day for the Offalyman who would have held high hopes of making a charge given that he started the day just six behind.

    He is now 13 behind however as van Rooyen's relentless pace continues with a par at the 10th to remain at -14.

    SCORES
    -14: Erik Van Rooyen (10)

    -10: Joakim Lagergren (10)

    -8: Matthieu Pavon (9)

    -7: Jorge Campillo (14), Russell Knox (12), Ryan Fox (9)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Thorbjorn Olesen (13), Lee Westoowd (12)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (F:72), -1 Simon Thornton (17), -1 Shane Lowry (17), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

     

  • 15:22

    Suddenly two more players move to -8 alongside Pavon as Campillo birdies the 15th and Fox birdies the 10th.

    There's plenty of players bunched behind van Rooyen and ready to pounce but the problem is that they're just too far behind at the moment, they need the South African to come back.

    Meanwhile, Raphael Jacquelin has suddenly come into the picture with an eagle at the 13th followed by birdies at the 14th and 15th to move up to -6 and into that group with Sulliva, Rahm and Westwood.

  • 15:30

    Russell Knox is coming into the picture!

    After birdies at the 10th and 11th he has now eagled the 13th to get to -9 and into third place on his own. He's a man who knows how to win and could well put the pressure on van Rooyen.

    Speaking of the leader he has done well to negotiate a very long birdie putt in two at the 11th to remain at -14 and four clear of Lagergren who also could only manage par there.

    SCORES
    -14: Erik Van Rooyen (11)

    -10: Joakim Lagergren (11)

    -9: Russell Knox (13)

    -8: Jorge Campillo (15), Matthieu Pavon (10), Ryan Fox (10)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Raphael Jacquelin (15), Lee Westoowd (12)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (F:72), -1 Simon Thornton (17), -1 Shane Lowry (17), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 15:32

    At the 12th Willett has made it back-to-back birdies to get to -6 and back to level par for the day.

    Back on the tee van Rooyen has missed another fairway right (he's missed a lot today despite being -6 for the day) but it looks to be sitting up okay.

  • 15:34

    Meanwhile, in Samara, Harry Maguire has just put England 1-0 up in their World Cup quarter-final against Sweden. This idea of football coming home is getting dangerously realistic.

    At the 11th Pavon has made a great up-and-down from the back of the green to remain at -8 with 11 consecutive pars while Fox also pars to stay at -8.

  • 15:39

    Van Rooyen is managing this course beautifully. He was out of position aain there at the 12th but he didn't go for the hero shot and simply found the middle of the green instead to leave 40 feet for birdie. With a four shot lead that's fine.

    Alongside him Lagergren does have to go for it from the long rough but his ball bounds through the green and into a collection area at the back.

    Over at the 14th Knox's latest birdie effort comes up just short and he stays at -9.

  • 15:43

    The rain is back and falling heavily.


    At the Par 3 14th Westwood has rolled in a lovey birdie putt to get to -7 and into seventh on his own.


    Meanwhile, Simon Thornton has closed with a bogey to card a 74 and go into Sunday at level par while Lowry has aso bogeyed to sign for a 74 and level par for the tournament.

  • 15:44
    The first sign of a possible mistake comes from van Rooyen at the 12th as his long birdie putt comes up 10 feet short. That's to save par and maintain his four shot lead.
  • 15:49

    Wow, what a putt from van Rooyen.

    That was the first real test he has faced today but he has powered that par putt into the middle of the hole at the 12th and remains four clear.

    Alongside him Lagergren also saves par and stays four back.

    And, over at the 13th, it's a third birdie in a row for Danny Willett who is now up to -7.

    SCORES
    -14: Erik Van Rooyen (12)

    -10: Joakim Lagergren (12)

    -9: Russell Knox (14)

    -8: Jorge Campillo (16), Matthieu Pavon (11), Ryan Fox (11)

    -7: Lee Westwood (14), Danny Willett (13)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Raphael Jacquelin (16)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (F:72), E Shane Lowry (F:74), E Simon Thornton (F:74), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 15:55

    Danny Willett!

    He's just made his fourth birdie in a row and it comes from a mile away at the Par 3 14th thanks to a monster putt!

    Over at the 17th Jacquelin has made another birdie to join Westwood at -7.

    What a story this would be if Willett could come from the doldrums and win.

  • 15:57

    However, Willett is going to need van Rooyen to come back to the pack and, at the moment, it doesn't look like he will.

    At the Par 5 13th he has creased a drive down the middle and sent his second up into the heart of the green where he faces about 30 feet for eagle.

    Alongside him Lagergren will have about 20 feet for birdie.

  • 16:01

    A so-so eagle putt from van Rooyen left him with five feet for his birdie and he's missed.

    Now that's the first mistake he's made so far. That was a weak putt and it lipped out on the low side. However, it's still a par and he still remains four clear after Lagergren could also only manage a par.

    SCORES
    -14: Erik Van Rooyen (13)

    -10: Joakim Lagergren (13)

    -9: Russell Knox (15)

    -8: Jorge Campillo (17), Danny Willett (14), Matthieu Pavon (12), Ryan Fox (12)

    -7: Raphael Jacquelin (17), Lee Westwood (15)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (F:72), E Shane Lowry (F:74), E Simon Thornton (F:74), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 16:01
  • 16:06
    At the Par 3 14th van Rooyen has sent a lovely approach in to the middle of the green and will face 25 feet for birdie. If he keeps doing that the pack will have to come and get him and, at the moment, no one can get closer than four shots.
  • 16:09

    Two nice putts give van Rooyen a par and it's the same for Lagergren.


    Over at the 15th it's the same as well for Willett who remains at -8.


    Also at -8 is Pavon who has now made 13 straight pars today after failing to take advantage of the Par 5 13th.


    Fox also failed to take advantage after some bunker trouble and he also stays at -8.


    As you were, then.

  • 16:11

    Van Rooyen has made his first real mistake.

    His tee shot at the 15th veers right and finds a deep little fairway bunker which he will only be able to splash out of.

    Meanwhile, Lagergren finds the short stuff and may just get a chance here to cut the gap.

  • 16:14

    Van Rooyen gets the sand wedge out and nudges it up the fairway, leaving 100 yards or so to get up-and-down to save par.

    At the 14th it's par number 14 for Pavon while Fox also pars and they both remain at -8. Very little happening in that final group.

  • 16:16

    We could have a bit of change here. That's because Lagergren has flown a gorgeous approach in to eight feet at the 15th while van Rooyen faces five feet to save his par after an excellent wedge shot in.  

    Up ahead at the 16th Willett has found the centre of the green with his approach, leaving about 30 feet for another birdie.

  • 16:17
    In Samara, Dele Alli has put England 2-0 up and Gareth Southgate's side are now well on their way to a World Cup semi-final. Wow.
  • 16:21

    What a save from van Rooyen. That is excellent stuff. After splashing out of the bunker he sent a lovely iron shot in to five feet and converted the putt for a par.

    What's more, he remains four clear after Lagergren's birdie putt missed on the left.

    SCORES
    -14: Erik Van Rooyen (15)

    -10: Joakim Lagergren (15)

    -9: Russell Knox (16)

    -8: Danny Willett (15), Matthieu Pavon (14), Ryan Fox (14)

    -7: Raphael Jacquelin (F:68), Lee Westwood (16)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Jorge Campillo (F:69)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (F:72), E Shane Lowry (F:74), E Simon Thornton (F:74), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 16:26

    Willett's birdie putt at the 16th misses on the right edge and he stays at -8.

    After thyat par save at the 15th, van Rooyen has speared a gorgeous iron down the fairway at the Par 4 16th.

    Meanwhile, up at the 17th Knox has dropped a shot at the Par 5 and is now back to -8. That is very disappointing from the Scot.

  • 16:27

    Ryan Fox is one frustrated man right now. After a stunning drive at the 15th left just a flick of a wedge in, he missed his birdie putt from five feet and drops back to -7.

    It's the same story for Pavon who must be equally frustrated after making 14 pars before that hole. He is also back to -7.

  • 16:34

    After a perfect tee shot at the 16th van Rooyen found the middle of the green with his approach and then watched as his birdie putt shaved the edge but somehow stayed out. However, that's a solid par and he remains four clear.

    He was very nearly five clear after Lagergren sent his birdie putt racing past but the Swede did well to sink the par putt coming back.

    Up at the 17th Willett has found the apron of the green with his second and will have up-and down from there to make birdie and move to -9 and third on his own.

  • 16:36

    A frustrated Lee Westwood walks off the 17th green after failing to make birdie on that Par 5 and he stays at -7.

    Back on the tee Lagergren and van Rooyen have found the fairway and both are well in range to get home in two.

  • 16:40

    Danny Willett is right in this now.

    A lovely pitch followed by a perfect putt gives him a birdie at the 17th and he's now up to -9 and five behind.

    Alongside him now at -9 is Fox who has birdied the 16th.  

    They're all waiting for van Rooyen to slip up. At the moment it doesn't look like he will but there is still a long way to go.

  • 16:46

    Van Rooyen had a crack at the green in two at the 17th but found the left bunker. His splash shot is okay, rolling out to 20 feet. With a four-shot lead that's okay.

    Lagergren found the left fringe and faces a long eagle putt.

    Up ahead at the 18th Westwood has rolled in for par to card a round of 70 and go into Sunday at -7. He's still in the hunt.

  • 16:50

    Van Rooyen's birdie putt misses left and he has to settle for par but he still stays four clear as Lagergren can only manage the same.

    Up ahead at the 18th Willett has fired a beautiful approach over the back left bunker and in to 10 feet. He has that to card a 68 and post -10. The redemption story could be on.

    SCORES
    -14: Erik Van Rooyen (17)

    -10: Joakim Lagergren (17)

    -9: Danny Willett (17), Ryan Fox (16)

    -8: Russell Knox (F:68)

    -7: Raphael Jacquelin (F:68), Lee Westwood (17), Matthieu Pavon (16)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Jorge Campillo (F:69), Peter Uihlein (F:70), Zandar Lombard (17)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (F:72), E Shane Lowry (F:74), E Simon Thornton (F:74), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 16:51

    What a shot from Ryan Fox!

    At the Par 5 17th he's sent his second shot in to eight feet and has that to get to -11. It might also just force him into the final group.

  • 16:52

    Up ahead to Willett at the 18th.


    His left-to-right birdie putt is always a little too high and stays out. However, that's a 69 for the 2016 US Masters champion and he will go into the final round at -9 and in with a chance of winning for the first time in a long time.


    A very, very welcome return to form.

  • 16:54

    Van Rooyen and Lagergren both send their drives perfectly down the left of the 18th fairway.

    In other, less important news, England are into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990 after beating Sweden 2-0.

  • 16:57
    Fox's eagle putt misses, he'll be raging at that, and and he has to settle for a birdie to get to -10 alongside Lagergren.
  • 16:59

    Lagergren is first to play to the 18th and his approach finds the back fringe, leaving 25 feet for birdie.

    Next up is van Rooyen who finds the right hand side of the green, leaving a long birdie putt.

  • 17:05

    Van Rooyen very nearly extends his lead to five!

    His long birdie putt looks good all the way but clips the left edge and stays out. However, that is a very, very impressive round of 66 with all six birdies coming on the front nine, followed by nine pars.

    Lagergren's birdie putt also misses and he has to settle for a 69 and -10, four shots behind.

    Just two more players to finish now.

    SCORES
    -14: Erik Van Rooyen (F:66)

    -10: Joakim Lagergren (F:69), Ryan Fox (17)

    -9: Danny Willett (F:69)

    -8: Russell Knox (F:68)

    -7: Raphael Jacquelin (F:68), Lee Westwood (F:70), Matthieu Pavon (17)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Jorge Campillo (F:69), Peter Uihlein (F:70), Zandar Lombard (F:72)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (F:72), E Shane Lowry (F:74), E Simon Thornton (F:74), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)

  • 17:11

    A two-putt par for Fox at the 18th gives him a round of 70 and -10 while Pavon also manages a par to card a 73 and -7.

    That means Lagergren and van Rooyen will partner each other again tomorrow but this time in the final group while Fox will play alongside Willett in the second last group.

  • 17:12

    With that I shall leave you.

    It's been an interesting day but unfortunately none of the Irish contingent could make a charge.

    However, we have plenty of storylines with Danny Willett's redemption possibly the most eye-catching.

    Philip Reid's report will be online soon and I will be with you again tomorrow for all of the final day action so join me then, bye!

    SCORES
    -14: Erik Van Rooyen (F:66)

    -10: Joakim Lagergren (F:69), Ryan Fox (F:70)

    -9: Danny Willett (F:69)

    -8: Russell Knox (F:68)

    -7: Raphael Jacquelin (F:68), Lee Westwood (F:70), Matthieu Pavon (F:73)

    -6: Andy Sullivan (F:65), Jon Rahm (F:67), Jorge Campillo (F:69), Peter Uihlein (F:70), Zandar Lombard (F:72)

    Irish in action: -1 Rory McIlroy (F:72), E Shane Lowry (F:74), E Simon Thornton (F:74), +1 Graeme McDowell (F:73), +1 Paul Dunne (F:72)