Dubai Duty Free Irish Open R3

Rai one step closer to wire-to-wire victory at Galgorm

September 24-27
Galgorm Castle Golf Club, Ballymena, Northern Ireland
€ 1,250,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 4


Irish Open 2020 R3 - Rai one step closer to wire-to-wire victory at Galgorm
(Getty Images)


Aaron Rai will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Galgorm Castle Golf Club as he bids for a second European Tour title.


“I’m pleased with the round overall. It wasn’t easy, the course isn’t playing easy and it wasn’t easy conditions today. It’s always different going out in the final group and with the co-lead on day three, so it’s nice to play with that and play relatively freely and solid today. 

“It was good to hit a nice shot into number 12, I hit a few and leaked them right on the previous two holes. It was great to roll the putt in, especially when you’re above the hole, you can have some really slick putts. I was just trying to coax that down there and was really fortunate for it to go in. 



“I said to Jason, my caddie, that was a pretty good lie in the rough (on 16). You can get a lot worse than that. I was fortunate to get a six iron on that and get it on the green.

“It would be incredible (to win). Any title on the European Tour is fantastic, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open has an illustrious history, it’s a huge event, it always has been. I want to put that out of my mind going into tomorrow. There’s still a lot of significance to it, but I’ll hope to do the same kind of things and see where it puts us at the end of tomorrow.”


The Englishman, who earned his maiden victory at the Honma Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi in 2018, started the day in a two-way share of the lead alongside Australia’s Maverick Antcliff but pulled clear courtesy of a three under par third round of 67.

Rai has led the field or shared the lead after each of the opening three rounds in Northern Ireland and is looking to complete a remarkable double, having won in wire-to-wire fashion in Hong Kong.

Antcliff was one of a number of players who had to return to the golf course this morning to finish his second round, carding eagle on the final hole for a second round 65 before doing it all over again and carding a third round 68. The 27-year-old sits just one shot behind Rai as he aims to win his first European Tour title in just his 19th start.



“It was pretty solid, an early start this morning and having to restart, having to refocus,” said Antcliff. “The birdie on the first helped calm the nerves and I just tried to work my way into the round. 

“It was a similar situation last week in Portugal (finishing the second round in the morning), so I’m drawing on those experiences and trying to switch off between rounds, have a coffee and chill-out. It wasn’t too bad, but I’m sure I’ll probably feel it in the morning.

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“(The par saves at 17 and 18) were huge. Just nice to hole a couple when I needed to and keep a bit of momentum going. Tomorrow should be good fun.”

One stroke further back on six under par are the trio of Dean Burmester, Jazz Janewattananond and Oscar Lengden, while the leading Irishman is former Amateur Champion James Sugrue, in a share of 25th on two over.




Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Aaron Rai
-8
65
70
67
202
2
Maverick Antcliff
-7
70
65
68
203
T3
Dean Burmester
-6
65
71
68
204
T3
Jazz Janewattananond
-6
68
70
66
204
T3
Oscar Lengden
-6
67
71
66
204
T6
Lucas Herbert
-5
71
67
67
205
T6
Toby Tree
-5
66
70
69
205
T8
John Catlin
-4
67
70
69
206
T8
Justin Harding
-4
68
69
69
206
T8
Jordan Smith
-4
65
71
70
206
T11
Ewen Ferguson
-3
70
67
70
207
T11
Scott Hend
-3
68
69
70
207
T11
Rikard Karlberg
-3
67
75
65
207
T11
Joakim Lagergren
-3
70
66
71
207
15
Laurie Canter
-2
73
67
68
208
T16
Daan Huizing
-1
70
69
70
209
T16
Jack Senior
-1
70
73
66
209
T18
Richard Bland
E
72
67
71
210
T18
Joost Luiten
E
71
70
69
210
T18
Adrian Meronk
E
71
69
70
210
T21
Marcus Armitage
1
69
71
71
211
T21
Stephen Gallacher
1
67
74
70
211
T21
Masahiro Kawamura
1
74
71
66
211
T21
Antoine Rozner
1
73
72
66
211
T25
Lucas Bjerregaard
2
68
74
70
212
T25
Julien Guerrier
2
68
70
74
212
T25
Joachim B. Hansen
2
72
72
68
212
T25
Craig Howie
2
73
71
68
212
T25
Ben Stow
2
70
75
67
212
T25
James Sugrue (a)
2
67
72
73
212
T25
Fabrizio Zanotti
2
70
72
70
212
T32
Sean Crocker
3
72
67
74
213
T32
Calum Hill
3
70
70
73
213
T32
Richie Ramsay
3
71
74
68
213
T35
Jonathan Caldwell
4
71
70
73
214
T35
Alejandro Cañizares
4
71
72
71
214
T35
Dave Coupland
4
72
69
73
214
T35
Ignacio Elvira Mijares
4
69
71
74
214
T35
David Law
4
69
69
76
214
T35
James Morrison
4
72
69
73
214
T35
Wilco Nienaber
4
70
72
72
214
T35
Robert Rock
4
69
67
78
214
T35
Clement Sordet
4
70
70
74
214
T44
Adri Arnaus
5
73
69
73
215
T44
George Coetzee
5
71
73
71
215
T44
Garrick Porteous
5
73
71
71
215
T44
Dale Whitnell
5
71
72
72
215
T44
Lars van Meijel
5
71
71
73
215
T49
Steven Brown
6
71
74
71
216
T49
Aaron Cockerill
6
75
70
71
216
T49
Oliver Farr
6
70
70
76
216
T49
Robin Sciot-Siegrist
6
73
72
71
216
T49
Jason Scrivener
6
73
69
74
216
T54
Mathieu Fenasse (a)
7
72
72
73
217
T54
Niklas Lemke
7
68
74
75
217
T54
Richard McEvoy
7
72
72
73
217
T54
Jake McLeod
7
70
73
74
217
T54
Colm Moriarty
7
75
69
73
217
T54
Martin Simonsen
7
68
75
74
217
T54
Matthew Southgate
7
74
70
73
217
T61
Wil Besseling
8
74
71
73
218
T61
Mark Power (a)
8
74
71
73
218
T61
Max Schmitt
8
73
72
73
218
T61
Joël Stalter
8
74
70
74
218
T61
Darius van Driel
8
73
70
75
218
66
Damien Mcgrane
9
70
74
75
219
T67
Scott Jamieson
10
69
76
75
220
T67
Ross McGowan
10
73
71
76
220
T67
Shubhankar Sharma
10
72
72
76
220
T67
Romain Wattel
10
74
71
75
220
CUT
Ashley Chesters
6
79
67
146
CUT
Nicolas Colsaerts
6
73
73
146
CUT
Padraig Harrington
6
71
75
146
CUT
Søren Kjeldsen
6
76
70
146
CUT
Tyler Koivisto
6
73
73
146
CUT
Francesco Laporta
6
73
73
146
CUT
Damien Perrier
6
71
75
146
CUT
Kristoffer Reitan
6
72
74
146
CUT
Callum Shinkwin
6
72
74
146
CUT
Lee Slattery
6
72
74
146
CUT
Graeme Storm
6
70
76
146
CUT
Jeff Winther
6
77
69
146
CUT
Ashun Wu
6
76
70
146
CUT
Michael Campbell
7
75
72
147
CUT
David Drysdale
7
73
74
147
CUT
Garrick Higgo
7
68
79
147
CUT
Jbe Kruger
7
73
74
147
CUT
Shane Lowry
7
75
72
147
CUT
Edoardo Molinari
7
74
73
147
CUT
Carlos Pigem
7
74
73
147
CUT
Bernd Ritthammer
7
74
73
147
CUT
Julian Suri
7
71
76
147
CUT
Matthew Baldwin
8
73
75
148
CUT
Wade Ormsby
8
70
78
148
CUT
Steven Tiley
8
75
73
148
CUT
Paul Dunne
9
75
74
149
CUT
David Horsey
9
76
73
149
CUT
David Howell
9
72
77
149
CUT
Benjamin Poke
9
76
73
149
CUT
Connor Syme
9
71
78
149
CUT
Liam Johnston
10
74
76
150
CUT
Mikko Korhonen
10
72
78
150
CUT
Zach Murray
10
74
76
150
CUT
Ryan Fox
11
78
73
151
CUT
Tom McKibbin
11
73
78
151
CUT
Gavin Moynihan
11
74
77
151
CUT
Marc Warren
12
74
78
152
CUT
Daniel Young (a)
12
75
77
152
CUT
Gaganjeet Bhullar
13
75
78
153
CUT
Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez
13
78
75
153
CUT
Min Woo Lee
13
75
78
153
CUT
Robin Roussel
14
75
79
154
CUT
Oliver Fisher
15
78
77
155
CUT
Marcus Kinhult
15
75
80
155
CUT
Haydn Porteous
16
74
82
156
CUT
Cormac Sharvin
17
83
74
157
CUT
Andrea Pavan
19
83
76
159
WD
Sebastian Soderberg
4
74
74
WD
Johannes Veerman
13
73
56
129
WD
Yikeun Chang
10
76
57
133