Brian Harman maintains five-shot lead heading into final round / Scores

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The American recovered from a shaky start to compile a third round of 69 at Royal Liverpool.
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American Brian Harman will take a commanding five-shot lead into the final round of the 151st Open Championship after holding the chasing pack firmly at bay at Royal Liverpool.

Masters champion Jon Rahm claimed he felt “invincible” as he surged through the field with a record-breaking 63, but that adjective could equally apply to Harman as he remained on course for a maiden major title at the age of 36.

As crowd favourites Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy frustratingly failed to fire, Harman recovered from a shaky start to compile a third round of 69 and 12-under-par total of 201.

Brian Harman
Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood shake hands after their third rounds of the 151st Open (Peter Byrne/PA)

Compatriot Cameron Young, the runner-up at St Andrews last year, is Harman’s nearest challenger following a 66, with Rahm – seeking the third leg of a career grand slam – another stroke behind.

Fleetwood was part of a five-way tie for fourth on five under which included Ryder Cup team-mate Viktor Hovland and former world number one Jason Day.

Rahm only made the cut with a shot to spare following rounds of 74 and 70, but took advantage of unexpectedly benign conditions to card eight birdies in a flawless 63, just one shot outside the lowest score in major championship history.

The world number three is the first player to shoot lower than 65 in an Open at Hoylake and had closed to within four shots of halfway leader Harman just two minutes before the left-hander got his round under way.

The gap was down to two when Harman dropped shots at the first and fourth, but he responded superbly with birdies on the fifth, ninth, 12th and 13th to maintain the five-shot advantage he held at halfway.

Only two players in history have lost a five-shot lead after 54 holes of the Open, Macdonald Smith in 1925 and Jean van de Velde at Carnoustie in 1999.

“You’d be foolish not to envision [lifting the Claret Jug] and I’ve thought about winning majors for my whole entire life,” Harman admitted.

“It’s the whole reason I work as hard as I do and why I practise as much as I do and why I sacrifice as much as I do. If that’s going to come to fruition for me, it has to be all about the golf.

“It has to be execution and just staying in the moment.”

Rahm compared his 63 to an opening round of 65 at Augusta National in April which set him on course for a second major victory following the 2021 US Open.

“That is the best round I have played on a links course ever,” said Rahm, who followed a birdie on the fifth with four in succession from the ninth before picking up further shots on the 15th, 16th and 18th in a back nine of 30.

“Starting on 11 everything became downwind and it got easier.

“It is my lowest round on a links course and it’s in the Open Championship right? It’s the lowest round shot on this course. It feels really good but there is a lot of work to do.”

Rahm had cut a frustrated figure over the first two days, complaining about too many people being inside the ropes following his group with McIlroy and Justin Rose.

“To be fair, I look frustrated very often,” Rahm joked.

“I was playing good golf and I knew what I was capable of. I was frustrated because it was basically mistakes that I made. That was it. I gave up the shots at major championships that are very costly, and that’s mainly it.

“I knew my swing and my game felt better than the scores I was shooting. Today was the complete opposite, obviously.

“Today was one of those days where I felt invincible. I’ve been very comfortable from the tee, so it’s easier to stay aggressive.”

Jon Rahm
Spain’s Jon Rahm throws a ball into the crowd after a third round of 63 in the 151st Open Championship (Peter Byrne/PA)

McIlroy, who triumphed at Hoylake in 2014, had made the ideal start with birdies on the first, third and fifth, but covered the remaining 13 holes in one over par to card a disappointing 69.

The world number two, who had cancelled his formal pre-tournament press conference for the second major in succession on Tuesday, declined to speak to waiting reporters and headed straight to the practice putting green.

McIlroy ended the day as he started it, nine behind Harman, while Fleetwood fell two shots further back following a 71 containing one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars.

England’s Alex Fitzpatrick equalled the previous lowest Open score at Hoylake with a superb 65 to climb into the top 10 on four under, two shots better off than older brother and 2022 US Open champion Matt, who returned a 67.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1R2R3Total
1Brian Harman-12676569201
2Cameron Young-7726866206
3Jon Rahm-6747063207
T4Viktor Hovland-5707266208
T4Antoine Rozner-5677467208
T4Jason Day-5726769208
T4Sepp Straka-5716770208
T4Tommy Fleetwood-5667171208
T9Alex Fitzpatrick-4747065209
T9Shubhankar Sharma-4687170209
T11Thomas Detry-3746967210
T11Tom Kim-3746868210
T11Nicolai Hojgaard-3717069210
T11Matthew Jordan-3697269210
T11Rory McIlroy-3717069210
T11Emiliano Grillo-3667470210
T17Matt Fitzpatrick-2727267211
T17Sungjae Im-2707467211
T17Romain Langasque-2707467211
T17Hideki Matsuyama-2707269211
T17Max Homa-2687370211
T17Jordan Spieth-2697171211
T17Min Woo Lee-2716872211
T24Rickie Fowler-1727367212
T24Patrick Cantlay-1707567212
T24Xander Schauffele-1707468212
T24Cameron Smith-1727268212
T24Patrick Reed-1707468212
T24Tyrrell Hatton-1717368212
T24Corey Conners-1737168212
T24Byeong Hun An-1737069212
T24Alexander Björk-1697370212
T24Richard Bland-1707171212
T24Wyndham Clark-1687371212
T24Henrik Stenson-1736871212
T24Stewart Cink-1687371212
T24Michael Stewart-1687371212
T24Guido Migliozzi-1697271212
T39J.T. PostonPar717369213
T39Brendon ToddPar747069213
T41Ryan Fox+1786769214
T41Sami Valimaki+1766870214
T41Rikuya Hoshino+1756970214
T41Jordan Smith+1717271214
T41Joost Luiten+1717271214
T41Thomas Pieters+1707371214
T41Oliver Wilson+1697471214
T41Abraham Ancer+1727171214
T41Alex Noren+1687571214
T41Laurie Canter+1717073214
T51David Lingmerth+2707570215
T51Louis Oosthuizen+2747071215
T51Hurly Long+2727271215
T51Zach Johnson+2756971215
T51Christiaan Bezuidenhout+2737171215
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T57Kurt Kitayama+3727272216
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73Zack Fischer+6717375219
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76Christo Lamprecht(a)+8667976221
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CUTHarris English+57572-147
CUTYannik Paul+57770-147
CUTKazuki Higa+67375-148
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CUTHaydn Barron+97477-151
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CUTCallum Shinkwin+107874-152
CUTDavid Micheluzzi+107775-152
CUTBranden Grace+107379-152
CUTAlex Maguire(a)+107280-152
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CUTTaiga Semikawa+107775-152
CUTJustin Thomas+118271-153
CUTMarc Warren+117974-153
CUTConnor McKinney+117677-153
CUTTakumi Kanaya+117380-153
CUTLee Hodges+117677-153
CUTDenny McCarthy+127678-154
CUTJohn Daly+127777-154
CUTAdam Schenk+127975-154
CUTAlejandro Cañizares+127579-154
CUTGraeme Robertson+127579-154
CUTOliver Farr+127480-154
CUTDustin Johnson+137481-155
CUTMartin Rohwer+137382-155
CUTKensei Hirata+147581-156
CUTKyle Barker+147680-156
CUTHarrison Crowe(a)+147680-156
CUTJorge Campillo+148274-156
CUTHiroshi Iwata+147779-156
CUTGunner Wiebe+167979-158
CUTTaichi Kho+188377-160
CUTAdri Arnaus+218281-163
CUTJazz Janewattananond+228183-164
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The Open Championship 2023

Date: July 20th - 23rd 2023

Location: Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake, England

Purse: $16,500,000

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