Rory McIlroy off to flying start with opening birdie as he aims for a big charge through the field to chase down leader Louis Oosthuizen and world No 4 Collin Morikawa as day three of The Open gets underway
- Rory Mcllroy birdied the first hole on day three after a rusty first two days
- He just made the cut on day two and has a lot of ground to make up
- Louis Oosthuizen began with a two-stroke advantage on the leaderboard
- Twenty-four-year-old Collin Morikawa is second after a superb Open debut
Rory McIIroy got a huge cheer from the crowd at Sandwich as he birdied on the first hole on day three at The Open, getting a big day for him off to a strong start as he looks to charge his way up the leaderboard in pursuit of leader Louis Oosthuizen and world No 4 Collin Morikawa.
Mcllroy had a difficult first two days at Sandwich with back-to-back 70s leaving him trailing frontrunner Oosthuizen by 11 shots and he needed a birdie to narrowly avoid missing the cut for a second year in a row.
The 2014 champion got off on the right foot as his putt dropped into the hole to huge cheers from the home crowd although he will have his work cut out chasing down Oosthuizen.
Rory Mcllroy just made the cut thanks to a birdie at the 18th and has a big day ahead
Louis Oosthuizen is the front runner after a stunning 64 on day one and 65 on day two
The South African followed his exceptional 64 on the opening round with 65 on day two to take a two-shot lead into day three and continue his bid to add to his 2010 championship win.
Oosthuizen’s closest challenger is Morikawa, who is looking to become the first Open debutant to win the championship since Ben Curtis in 2003.
The 24-year-old American hit a stunning 64 on day two, including a remarkable four birdies in five holes between the eighth and 12th.
Jordan Spieth began the day in third after finishing day two with 67, undoing a strong start with a couple of birdies but still in a strong position for the weekend.
Bryson DeChambeau was among the early starters as the third round of the 149th Open got under way in glorious conditions at Royal St George’s.
DeChambeau played his last five holes in two under par on Friday to make the halfway cut on the mark of one over, with two amateurs among the 77 players to advance to the weekend on the Kent coast.
Colin Morikawa, the world No 4, has taken Sandwich by storm on his debut at The Open
Bryson DeChambeau was one of the early starters after his row with club manufacturer Cobra
The former US Open champion admitted after a second round of 70 that he feels “really bad” about the outburst on day one which led to a war of words with his club manufacturer, the world number six claiming his Cobra driver “sucks”.
A Cobra representative described the comments as “stupid” and likened DeChambeau to “an eight-year-old that gets mad at you”, leading to an apology from DeChambeau on Instagram and another following Friday’s round.
“I made a mistake and I think as time goes on I’ll look back on this as a growing moment for me personally,” he said.
“Hopefully I can make the right things go on from here on out in regards to that because I didn’t mean it, I was in a heated situation and feel really bad about it.”
DeChambeau started the day 12 shots off the lead held by Oosthuizen and with faint hopes of getting back into contention, although the largest 36-hole comeback in Open history – 13 shots by George Duncan in 1920 – was achieved at nearby Royal Cinque Ports.
Oosthuizen’s record halfway total of 129 had given him a two-shot lead over 2020 US PGA champion Collin Morikawa, with 2017 Open winner Jordan Spieth a shot further back.
World number one Dustin Johnson was four shots off the pace alongside Scottie Scheffler and Dylan Frittelli, with England’s Andy Sullivan leading the home challenge on six under.
Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka, who was eager to score more points in his spat with DeChambeau by pointing out he “loved” his driver after a 66 on Friday, was six off the lead on five under.
THIRD ROUND TEE TIMES
9.20am Yuxin Lin
9.30am Talor Gooch, Bryson DeChambeau
9.40am Richard Mansell, Bernd Wiesberger
9.50am Marcus Armitage, JC Ritchie
10.00am Ryosuke Kinoshita, Poom Saksansin
10.10am Rickie Fowler, Antoine Rozner
10.20am Brendan Steele, Robert MacIntyre
10.30am Sam Burns, Harris English
10.40am Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak
10.50am Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Sam Horsfield
11.05am Rory McIlroy, Richard Bland
11.15am Benjamin Hebert, Xander Schauffele
11.25am Padraig Harrington, Matt Fitzpatrick
11.35am Kevin Streelman, Lanto Griffin
11.45am Viktor Hovland, Joaquin Niemann
11.55am Max Homa, Chan Kim
12.05pm Justin Thomas, Adam Scott
12.15pm Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner
12.25pm Jazz Janewattananond, Matthias Schmid (a)
12.35pm Chez Reavie, Aaron Rai
12.50pm Jonathan Thomson, Lee Westwood
1.00pm Ian Poulter, Jack Senior
1.10pm Webb Simpson, Tommy Fleetwood
1.20pm Johannes Veerman, Matt Wallace
1.30pm Sergio Garcia, Byeong Hun An
1.40pm Joel Dahmen, Justin Rose
1.50pm Dean Burmester, Daniel Berger
2.00pm Shane Lowry, Brandt Snedeker
2.10pm Danny Willett, Brian Harman
2.20pm Corey Conners, Cameron Smith
2.35pm Tony Finau, Ryan Fox
2.45pm Jon Rahm, Cameron Tringale
2.55pm Brooks Koepka, Mackenzie Hughes
3.05pm Justin Harding, Paul Casey
3.15pm Marcel Siem, Andy Sullivan
3.25pm Daniel Van Tonder, Emiliano Grillo
3.35pm Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler
3.45pm Jordan Spieth, Dylan Frittelli
3.55pm Louis Oosthuizen, Collin Morikawa
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