The Open Championship R3

Lowry in driving seat after stunning 63 gives him four-shot lead at Royal Portrush

July 18-21
Royal Portrush GC, Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
$10,750,000
Live leaderboard
Round 1, Round 2, Round 4

The Open Championship R3 - Lowry in driving seat after stunning 63 gives him four-shot lead at Royal Portrush
Republic Of Ireland’s Shane Lowry celebrates his birdie on the 15th during day three of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club.

Three years after taking a four-shot lead into the final round of the US Open, Ireland’s Shane Lowry has the same advantage heading into the last day of the 148th Open after a sensational performance at Royal Portrush.

Roared on by a capacity crowd, Lowry carded a stunning eight-under-par 63 to get one hand on the Claret Jug as he tries to become only the fifth Irish winner of the Open after Fred Daly, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy had set the course record of 61 at Portrush as a 16-year-old amateur but Lowry’s 63 established a new one for the revised layout and a birdie on the 18th would have equalled the lowest round in major history set by Branden Grace at Birkdale in 2017.


Lowry’s long-range attempt trickled agonisingly past the hole, but the 32-year-old from Offaly understandably could not wipe the smile from his face as chants of ‘Ole, Ole, Ole’ rang out from the grandstands.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood is Lowry’s nearest challenger on 12 under par after carding a bogey-free 66, with JB Holmes two shots further back and world number one Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose seven off the lead on nine under.

“My mind’s still a bit fuzzy,” said Lowry, whose 54-hole total of 197 eclipsed the previous Open record of 198 set by Tom Lehman at Royal Lytham in 1996.

“I really enjoyed today, obviously I played great golf and the crowd were incredible. Every time I got a putt I wanted to hole it and hear that roar again. I said to Bo (Martin, his caddie) walking off 17, ‘We might never experience anything like the next half-hour again, so let’s make the most of it’.

“I just felt so comfortable out there and hope I do tomorrow. I have a tough 24 hours ahead of me, but there’s nowhere I would rather be. I have a four-shot lead in an Open in Ireland. Tomorrow is going to be incredible no matter what happens.”


Asked about losing that four-shot lead at Oakmont in 2016, Lowry added: “I hope I’m going to be able to deal with it better. I know it’s going to be difficult and hard but hopefully I am ready for it.”

With the final groups unexpectedly getting the best of the weather, low scoring was essential and Lowry did not take long to get into red figures, a superb tee shot on the par-three third setting up a birdie from close range.

Lowry also birdied the fifth and ninth to reach the turn in 33 and move into the outright lead, although Fleetwood was playing equally well and his fourth birdie of the day on the 10th got him back on level terms.

In the group behind, Lowry used a combination of luck, judgement and the contours of the 10th green to fashion another birdie and edge in front again, but Fleetwood responded immediately on the par-five 12th.

Lowry two-putted the same hole for his fifth birdie of the day and then enjoyed a huge slice of luck on the 14th, where an errant drive was heading for dense undergrowth only to hit a male spectator on the back of the neck and land in light rough.

The Open Championship R3 - JTommy Fleetwood is Shane Lowry’s closest challenger (David Davies/PA)
Tommy Fleetwood is Shane Lowry’s closest challenger (David Davies/PA)

From there Lowry was able to make par and he took full advantage with birdies on the 15th and 16th, the latter courtesy of a stunning tee shot to seven feet on a 232-yard par-three which fully deserves its name ‘Calamity’ due to the danger lurking to the right of the green.

Lowry was not done there and chipped to two feet to set up a final birdie of the day on the 17th, Fleetwood unable to close the gap after completing his round with six straight pars.


Fleetwood, who was runner-up to Koepka in the US Open last year, said: “You have to look at it realistically and I had a great day today but Shane played out of his skin.

“I’m four back but I am happy with how I played. You’re trying to get more out of your round because you can hear what’s going on behind but it was a lot of fun.

“Playing with Shane on the last day will be challenging to control yourself in the middle of that. Hopefully there will still be some people out there rooting for me but being in that group will be harder than for the rest of the field.”

Despite a seven-shot deficit, the fact that he only trails three other players meant Rose had not given up hope of a second major title.

The Open Championship R3 - Justin Rose has not thrown in the towel just yet despite trailing the leader by seven (Niall Carson/PA)
Justin Rose has not thrown in the towel just yet despite trailing the leader by seven (Niall Carson/PA)

“Whenever some guys stretch the lead I’ve always said ‘Where’s second place?’” Rose said. “You never know what the leader is going to do. You’ve always got to look at where the chasing pack is and stay relevant to them.

“It was a fight for me to get in at nine under to give myself the opportunity going into tomorrow. So that’s all I can be happy for at this stage.”

Lee Westwood and Rickie Fowler are a shot behind Rose on eight under, Westwood holding the outright lead after three early birdies before fading on the back nine.


Pos.
Player
Nat
Score
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Shane Lowry
IRL
-16
67
67
63
197
2
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-12
68
67
66
201
3
J. B. Holmes
USA
-10
66
68
69
203
T4
Brooks Koepka
USA
-9
68
69
67
204
T4
Justin Rose
ENG
-9
69
67
68
204
T6
Rickie Fowler
USA
-8
70
69
66
205
T6
Lee Westwood
ENG
-8
68
67
70
205
T8
Danny Willett
ENG
-7
74
67
65
206
T8
Jon Rahm
ESP
-7
68
70
68
206
T8
Tony Finau
USA
-7
68
70
68
206
T8
Jordan Spieth
USA
-7
70
67
69
206
T12
Henrik Stenson
SWE
-6
70
69
68
207
T12
Alexander Noren
SWE
-6
68
71
68
207
T12
Matt Kuchar
USA
-6
70
68
69
207
T12
Dylan Frittelli
RSA
-6
68
69
70
207
T12
Andrew Putnam
USA
-6
70
67
70
207
T12
Cameron Smith
AUS
-6
70
66
71
207
18
Xander Schauffele
USA
-5
74
65
69
208
T19
Russell Knox
SCO
-4
70
71
68
209
T19
Sang-Hyun Park
KOR
-4
69
72
68
209
T19
Justin Thomas
USA
-4
71
70
68
209
T19
Patrick Reed
USA
-4
71
67
71
209
T23
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-3
71
69
70
210
T23
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
-3
73
67
70
210
T23
Webb Simpson
USA
-3
68
71
71
210
T23
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
-3
68
71
71
210
T23
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-3
70
68
72
210
T23
Justin Harding
RSA
-3
71
65
74
210
T29
Graeme McDowell
NIR
-2
73
70
68
211
T29
Tom Lewis
ENG
-2
75
68
68
211
T29
Kevin Kisner
USA
-2
70
71
70
211
T29
Romain Langasque
FRA
-2
69
72
70
211
T29
Robert MacIntyre
SCO
-2
68
72
71
211
T29
Rory Sabbatini
SVK
-2
70
70
71
211
T29
Dustin Johnson
USA
-2
72
67
72
211
T36
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
-1
72
69
71
212
T36
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-1
68
73
71
212
T36
Lucas Glover
USA
-1
72
69
71
212
T36
Patrick Cantlay
USA
-1
70
71
71
212
T36
Aaron Wise
USA
-1
72
69
71
212
T36
Ernie Els
RSA
-1
71
69
72
212
T36
Lucas Bjerregaard
DNK
-1
70
68
74
212
T43
Charley Hoffman
USA
Par
70
73
70
213
T43
Yuki Inamori
JPN
Par
70
73
70
213
T43
Ryan Fox
NZL
Par
68
75
70
213
T43
In-Choon Hwang
KOR
Par
72
71
70
213
T43
Doc Redman
USA
Par
71
71
71
213
T43
Joost Luiten
NED
Par
73
69
71
213
T43
Stewart Cink
USA
Par
74
68
71
213
T50
Andrew Wilson
ENG
1
76
67
71
214
T50
Yosuke Asaji
JPN
1
72
71
71
214
T50
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
1
70
72
72
214
T50
Thomas Pieters
BEL
1
72
68
74
214
T54
Francesco Molinari
ITA
2
74
69
72
215
T54
Matt Wallace
ENG
2
73
70
72
215
T54
Adam Hadwin
CAN
2
74
69
72
215
T54
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
2
73
69
73
215
T54
Kyle Stanley
USA
2
75
67
73
215
T54
Paul Casey
ENG
2
72
70
73
215
T54
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
2
70
71
74
215
T61
Bubba Watson
USA
3
72
71
73
216
T61
Kevin Streelman
USA
3
77
65
74
216
T61
Callum Shinkwin
ENG
3
70
71
75
216
T61
Jim Furyk
USA
3
73
68
75
216
T61
Branden Grace
RSA
3
70
71
75
216
T66
Jason Kokrak
USA
4
74
69
74
217
T66
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
4
72
68
77
217
T68
Paul Waring
ENG
5
75
68
75
218
T68
Nino Bertasio
ITA
5
72
71
75
218
T68
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
5
70
72
76
218
T68
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
5
68
73
77
218
72
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
6
70
72
77
219
73
Ashton Turner
ENG
7
69
74
77
220
CUT
Abraham Ancer
USA
2
72
72
144
CUT
Alexander Levy
FRA
2
73
71
144
CUT
Andrew Johnston
ENG
2
73
71
144
CUT
Brandt Snedeker
USA
2
74
70
144
CUT
Brian Harman
USA
2
72
72
144
CUT
Connor Syme
SCO
2
72
72
144
CUT
James Sugrue
IRL
2
71
73
144
CUT
Jason Day
AUS
2
70
74
144
CUT
Keegan Bradley
USA
2
73
71
144
CUT
Keith Mitchell
USA
2
75
69
144
CUT
Nate Lashley
USA
2
75
69
144
CUT
Rory McIlroy
NIR
2
79
65
144
CUT
Takumi Kanaya
JPN
2
73
71
144
CUT
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
3
73
72
145
CUT
Chez Reavie
USA
3
73
72
145
CUT
Chris Wood
ENG
3
73
72
145
CUT
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
3
74
71
145
CUT
Darren Clarke
NIR
3
71
74
145
CUT
Dong-Kyu Jang
KOR
3
76
69
145
CUT
Gary Woodland
USA
3
74
71
145
CUT
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
3
71
74
145
CUT
Kurt Kitayama
USA
3
74
71
145
CUT
Padraig Harrington
IRL
3
75
70
145
CUT
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
3
70
75
145
CUT
David Lipsky
USA
4
74
72
146
CUT
Doyeob Mun
KOR
4
74
72
146
CUT
Haotong Li
CHN
4
74
72
146
CUT
Jack Senior
ENG
4
75
71
146
CUT
Matthew Baldwin
ENG
4
78
68
146
CUT
Patton Kizzire
USA
4
73
73
146
CUT
Sung-Hoon Kang
KOR
4
74
72
146
CUT
Yoshinori Fujimoto
JPN
4
75
71
146
CUT
Zach Johnson
USA
4
74
72
146
CUT
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
5
77
70
147
CUT
Billy Horschel
USA
5
76
71
147
CUT
Brandon Stone
RSA
5
72
75
147
CUT
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
5
74
73
147
CUT
Isidro Benitez
MEX
5
75
72
147
CUT
Jake McLeod
AUS
5
76
71
147
CUT
Jazz Janewattananond
THA
5
74
73
147
CUT
Joaquin Niemann
CHI
5
76
71
147
CUT
Matthias Schmid
5
76
71
147
CUT
Mikumu Horikawa
JPN
5
71
76
147
CUT
Paul Lawrie
SCO
5
75
72
147
CUT
Robert Rock
ENG
5
76
71
147
CUT
Corey Conners
CAN
6
72
76
148
CUT
Gunn Charoenkul
THA
6
72
76
148
CUT
Jimmy Walker
USA
6
74
74
148
CUT
Joel Dahmen
USA
6
76
72
148
CUT
Oliver Wilson
ENG
6
73
75
148
CUT
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
6
73
75
148
CUT
Tiger Woods
USA
6
78
70
148
CUT
Zander Lombard
RSA
6
71
77
148
CUT
Andrea Pavan
ITA
7
73
76
149
CUT
Brandon Wu
USA
7
73
76
149
CUT
Chan Kim
USA
7
75
74
149
CUT
Ian Poulter
ENG
7
75
74
149
CUT
Jorge Campillo
ESP
7
76
73
149
CUT
Luke List
USA
7
73
76
149
CUT
Ryan Palmer
USA
7
74
75
149
CUT
Shaun Norris
RSA
7
73
76
149
CUT
Adria Arnaus
ESP
8
75
75
150
CUT
Marc Leishman
AUS
8
78
72
150
CUT
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
8
77
73
150
CUT
Phil Mickelson
USA
8
76
74
150
CUT
Adam Scott
AUS
9
78
73
151
CUT
Andy Sullivan
ENG
9
76
75
151
CUT
Cheng Tsung Pan
TPE
9
77
74
151
CUT
Curtis Knipes
ENG
9
72
79
151
CUT
Richard Sterne
RSA
9
78
73
151
CUT
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
9
71
80
151
CUT
Yuta Ikeda
JPN
9
76
75
151
CUT
Emiliano Grillo
ARG
10
73
79
152
CUT
Garrick Porteous
ENG
10
79
73
152
CUT
Sam Locke
SCO
10
75
77
152
CUT
Shugo Imahira
JPN
10
83
69
152
CUT
Austin Connelly
CAN
12
75
79
154
CUT
Prom Meesawat
THA
12
73
81
154
CUT
Tom Lehman
USA
12
78
76
154
CUT
Dimitrios Papadatos
AUS
13
83
72
155
CUT
Miguel Angel Jimenez
ESP
13
82
73
155
CUT
Thomas Thurloway
ENG
14
83
73
156
CUT
David Duval
USA
27
91
78
169