The Open: Rory McIlroy and Victor Hovland lead after thrilling third round bout

Together in the third round at the Old Course, the duo started the day in a tie and couldn’t break up after 18 holes of thrilling golf, ending the day with a four-stroke lead at the top.

Their score of six to 66 allowed them to jump over and pass Cameron Young and Second day leader Cameron Smith, who scored 71 and 73 respectively, went out on Sunday with a 12-under draw.

Hovland lit the torch of a classic open duel on the third hole, setting off a series of four consecutive birdies. This set the tone for the Norwegian, who, having missed twice in each of his first two rounds, would later sign a flawless scorecard.

Only in his second open show and his first at a major in St. Louis. Andrews, 24, looked unruffled amid the raucous crowd supporting his Northern Ireland teammate, smiling all over the Old Course.

“I don’t mind [the support for McIlroy]it doesn’t relieve tension from anything,” Hovland told reporters.

“There were still screams at me, so I appreciate them. In the end, I just have to play my game and not worry about anything else.”

friendly rivalry

While Hovland was chasing his first major, McIlroy kept up with his younger rival thanks to his prowess that saw the 33-year-old win four major trophies, including the Claret Pitcher in 2014.

Three of the five birds to close the top nine put him back on the shot before a great bunker head on the 10th hole put him in the lead.

Although he ended up on the sand, the Northern Irishman looked good for another birdie after a powerful tee shot, but then shook the nearby stands with a stunning 27-yard bowl chip.

Holes McIlroy from the bunker on 10th for an eagle.

As McIlroy raised his hands to appreciate the crowd’s appreciation, even Hovland gave his opponent a congratulatory punch.

“Rory is a good guy, so I don’t mind telling him a good hit,” he said.

“Ignoring the situation you’re in, it’s just a dirty bunker shot, so you just have to say, ‘Hey, that was a sick shot.’ It’s just part of the game.”

Hovland congratulates McIlroy on the eagle.

The interaction typified the competitive respect that was maintained throughout the pair’s round, with the duo talking at different tees, waiting for the group ahead. However, McIlroy believes the discussions, which have ranged from shoes to what Hovland has been up to over the past two weeks, will naturally shrink on Sunday at the championship.

“I don’t mind chatting on the way, it’s all right. It will probably relax both of us a little,” McIlroy told reporters.

“But you can tell there are times when you need to talk and times when you don’t. And so it was today.”

‘What the hell am I doing here?’

Hovland kept pace with a streak of seven pairs in a row before McIlroy’s slip in 17th saw the Norwegian equalise. McIlroy did the right thing by avoiding a worse fate after his second shot landed close to the side of the road pit. the infamous death of five-time Open champion Tom Watson in 1984.

The duo sealed their duel with matching birdies on the last hole, a fitting end to a day that Hovland couldn’t believe was actually happening.

“I thought, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’,” said the Norwegian.

“It’s very important to just be here, but to have a chance to win, I have to pinch myself. But that doesn’t mean I’ll hold back tomorrow.”

Hovland plays from the 18th tee.

Given McIlroy’s triumph at the 2014 Royal Liverpool Open, lifting a second Claret pitcher at the “home of golf” – the 150th event – would have been “a dream come true”.

“We also appreciate the moment and the fact that it’s incredibly cool to have the chance to win The Open at St. Andrews,” McIlroy said.

“This is what dreams are made of, and tomorrow I will try to make the dream come true.”

The pair will be the last group to kick off at 2:50 pm BST (9:50 am ET) on Sunday.

McIlroy reacts to his bunker eagle.

Cameron is losing ground

Starting with a bogey, Cameron Smith saw his two-stroke lead quickly evaporate on Saturday, with his disappointing day exacerbated by a double bogey in 13th.

The Australian’s teammate Cameron Young also left the field, regretting some costly mistakes despite making the two shots needed to equalize with Smith. The 25-year-old player who set the club’s goal with bright opening day 64saw his five birdies offset by two bogeys and a grueling double bogey in 16th place.
Smith tees out on the 3rd hole.

South Korean Kim Si Wu and the first racket of the world. 1 Scotty Sheffler is one shot behind the two Camerons on throws 67 and 69 respectively, and Dustin Johnson is one shot behind on carding 71.

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