The 150th Open: Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland take share of lead into final day at St Andrews

[17-07-2022 09:35 AM]

Ammon News - Rory McIlroy faces a final-day showdown with Ryder Cup teammate Viktor Hovland after the pair grabbed a share of the lead in a thrilling third round at The 150th Open.

The European duo went into the weekend three strokes off the pace and in the penultimate group out on the Old Course at St Andrews, only to post brilliant third-round 66s to move to 16 under and pull clear of the chasing pack.

Hovland registered six birdies in an excellent bogey-free round to bolster his hopes of a maiden major victory, while McIlroy mixed a hole-out eagle with five birdies and a lone bogey to give himself a glorious opportunity to claim a first major title since 2014.

They hold a four-shot cushion over American Cameron Young and midday pacesetter Cameron Smith, who stuttered to a one-over 73, while a five-under 67 lifted Si Woo Kim to 11 under and within five of the lead alongside world No 1 Scottie Scheffler.

Smith started the day two ahead but immediately lost ground when he made a three-putt bogey at the first, as Hovland charged ahead by following a 40-foot birdie at the third by holing from a similar distance at the next and then taking advantage of the par-five fifth.

Hovland converted from 20 feet at the sixth to register four straight birdies, as playing partner McIlroy made back-to-back gains of his own to move into tied-second, with Young also briefly getting 12 under until he cancelled out his birdie at the fifth by bogeying the seventh.

McIlroy made a two-putt birdie at the driveable ninth, which reduced the gap to one when Hovland three-putted for par, before holing out from a bunker at the par-four 10th to start his back nine with a remarkable eagle.

Hovland made a birdie of his own to also go five under for the day and join his playing partner on 15 under, while Smith posted his first birdie of the day at the ninth to stay within two of the group ahead of him.

McIlroy and Hovland exchanged pars over the following three holes before the Northern Irishman edged ahead when an incredible approach into the heart of the par-five 14th set up a two-putt birdie, as Hovland three-putted for par from over 110 feet.

Young cancelled out a birdie at the 12th with a bogey at the 13th, where Smith double-bogeyed after playing his ball at waist height from a bunker and then scuffing his ball into the bushes, although both players responded with a birdie at the par-five next to leave them two and four back respectively.

McIlroy's approach into the penultimate hole finished close to the wall, leaving an awkward pitch and leading to a two-putt bogey, as Hovland two-putted from the path to scramble an unlikely par and move back into a share of the lead.

McIlroy's tee-shot at the par-four last finished just left of the green but a superb two-putt lead to a closing birdie, with Hovland matching the three on the 18th to ensure the pair would take a share of the lead into the final day.

Young double-bogeyed the 16th and failed to find a birdie over the closing two holes, with the disappointing finish to a one-under 71 keeping him four behind and leaving him facing another pairing with Smith on Sunday.

Dustin Johnson dropped to seventh after three bogeys in a four-hole stretch in his back nine saw him post a one-under 71, while English duo Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick are tied-eighth alongside Adam Scott.

Kevin Kisner charged up the leaderboard with a round-of-the-day 65, with 2019 winner Shane Lowry also on seven under despite carding back-to-back eagles around the turn during a three-under 69.


  • no comments

All comments are reviewed and posted only if approved.
Ammon News reserves the right to delete any comment at any time, and for any reason, and will not publish any comment containing offense or deviating from the subject at hand, or to include the names of any personalities or to stir up sectarian, sectarian or racial strife, hoping to adhere to a high level of the comments as they express The extent of the progress and culture of Ammon News' visitors, noting that the comments are expressed only by the owners.
name : *
show email
comment : *
Verification code : Refresh
write code :