2022 LIVE Opening: Leaderboard and latest results as Rory McIlroy and Hovland take the lead in Round Three

Was this Tiger Woods’ last trip to St. Andrews?

Five days after describing his Open Championship victory on the Old Course as golf’s “holy grail”, Rory McIlroy will take a share of the lead in the final round of the 150th Championship after a stunning Saturday in St Andrews.

Buoyed by a gleaming eagle from a bunker in the tenth, McIlroy scored an impressive third round of 66 to cement his bid to end eight years of a major drought and become the first European winner at St Andrews since Nick Faldo in 1990.

Only a ghost on the famous Route 17 prevented McIlroy from taking the lead, with fellow Ryder teammate and partner Victor Hovland chasing his first major title, earning 66 free of ghostly to join the Northern Irish at 16 under.

McIlroy lifted the Claret Jug in 2014 and won four US PGA Championships a month later, but he hasn’t won one of the game’s biggest titles since.

Augusta National co-founder and three-time Open Champion Bobby Jones said a player’s career wouldn’t be complete without raising a Claret Jug on the old court.

And while McIlroy doesn’t think that’s entirely true, the world number two was well aware of the importance of winning the oldest major title in home golf.

“I don’t know if a golfer’s career wouldn’t be complete if it wasn’t, but I think it’s the holy grail of our sport,” McIlroy said in his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday.

Asked about the significance of Sunday’s win, McIlroy told Sky Sports: “It would mean everything because of what I’ve been through over the past few years, trying to get fifth.

“I have a lot of faith in myself, and I know I can do it again. I just need to get out in my own little world and make a good result that I know I can achieve here.”

Australian Cameron Smith was in pole position to achieve the feat after setting a halfway record of 13 underscores, but the world’s sixth-seeded with three opening titles and making a double bogey for 13th as he slipped his pace.

Even the foul-free front nine out of 33 – with the Birds on fifth, sixth and ninth – saw McIlroy shot past the inspiring Hovland, who made four consecutive holes of the third to take charge from Smith at the top of the leaderboard.

However, McIlroy then stowed away from a less than tenth green bunk for a stunning eagle to jump into the lead, before Hovland flexed his nerves for the same pit birds.

McIlroy found the green in two divisions at 614 yards 14 to set up another birdie and move to the outright lead, only to fire his intimidating 17 approach over the green and off the green.

The resulting phantom dropped McIlroy again alongside Hovland, who brilliantly saved the equaliser just over the green, then both players made a flying act at the last.

Smith and Young will start the final round with four shots after rounds 73 and 71 respectively, while world number one Scotty Scheffler and South Korea’s Se Woo Kim trailed with another stroke.

Two-time title winner Dustin Johnson returned with six shots after 71, while Tommy Fleetwood and US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick had nine shots under Australian Adam Scott.

“Today when I was having breakfast, everyone seemed to be making birds all over,” Fleetwood said 66 years later.

“I had a good start, the stretch in the middle was frustrating but it was a good finish again. Kicks at 16, 17 (to save on an equal footing) and 18 look decisive. I’d like to be with a chance to drop out of ninth tomorrow, but it’s very special that I stay in and between her.”


Rory McIlroy responds to the third round

McIlroy: “I thought it was really good. I missed out on some chances early on. Watching Victor pit a couple long early. But I stayed really patient. I got my first birdie today at 5. And I feel my patience around the role has been rewarded with a pair of Birds and that aperture at 10.

“But overall, a really good day. We kind of feast on each other, navigating the last few holes really well. Getting there was kind of difficult.

“So, yeah, in general, when you’re off the lead on day three of the Open and you go out and shoot 6-under, you’re always going to be happy about that.”


Victor Hovland’s reaction to taking the lead at The Open

Hovland: “Yeah, that was cool. We probably won’t forget that too quickly. No, you played great, but it was also great to trade some loopholes with Rory as well.

“I think we were obviously doing our own things. But as we saw, it was still pretty slow in there, and we had to wait in a lot of tee boxes. Yes, Rory and Harry are good guys, and we chatted a little bit with him. So it was a combination well “.

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Kevin Kesner on an amazing open tour of St Andrews: ‘It’s been a day’

Kevin Kesner took advantage of favorable conditions to move up the leaderboard on day three of the 150th Open.

The world number 25, cutting halfway on the level mark, enjoyed the sun and less wind to make six birdies in the nine-out 30, one of the St. Andrews Open record set by Tony Jacqueline in 1970.

His luck ran out at 351 yards 12 as he left his snout short to a sinisterly placed forward pin position and regressed into a hollow where he couldn’t get up and down.

But the American made up for it with a two-stroke jumper in 14th and took another shot in the 16th before taking out his second bogey of the day on Road Hole 17th.

Kessner then scored three points for a disappointing equalizer from the leading edge of the eighteenth green for a seven-under-65 and moved into the top ten, although he would have likely slipped down the leaderboard as the low scoring continued.

“Ghost 12 and 18 are going to eat me a little bit, but it was a great day,” Kessner said.


Tommy Fleetwood hails a ‘really great’ day as momentum builds up ahead of the last round

Tommy Fleetwood feels like he has good momentum after climbing to the top of the leaderboard at the World Open third round 66 in St Andrews on Saturday.

The 2019 runner-up earned a seven-bird, moving to a nine-under-general heading into the final day at the old field.

The Southport player scored 72 on Thursday but followed up with a 69 on Friday and is happy with his improvement throughout the week.

The world number 35 said after a run that started with four birds in six holes and ended with three more in the closing five.


Shane Laurie is upset and disappointed that the trouble situation shatters Open’s hopes

Even the consecutive Eagles couldn’t improve the mood of former Open Champion Shane Lowry because he was furious that his putting up cost him a chance to beat St Andrews.

The 35-year-old, a Portrush winner three years ago, was one below par on his tour — five below the championship — when he broke a 43-yard wedge from the left hand in the ninth.

To demonstrate that lightning could strike twice, his short approach of 46 yards, this time from the fairway, sank into the next parallel hole in the opposite direction.


2022 Open Championship: Rory McIlroy responds to Round Three


Championship 2022

Smith and Young can only equal the latter, both starting tomorrow -12 and four of the top two are on top.



Matt Fitzpatrick reacting to Round 69 to sit seven shots on the lead at -9

yes. Apparently six are back now, which is a lot. But this golf course would apparently make it a seven.

Yes, this golf course is one that you can go low on. Obviously, the only problem is that most of the lower grades tend to appear in the morning when the greens are soft. It will be more difficult tomorrow. I’ll need the men to come back to me. But if you get off to a hot start, who knows?

yes. Apparently six are back now, which is a lot. But this golf course would apparently make it a seven.

Yes, this golf course is one that you can go low on. Obviously, the only problem is that most of the lower grades tend to appear in the morning when the greens are soft. It will be more difficult tomorrow. I’ll need the men to come back to me. But if you get off to a hot start, who knows?


Championship 2022

Only Smith and Young to finish, if they both convert, Hovland and McIlroy could be looking over their shoulders tomorrow at the top of the leaderboard.

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2022 Open: Cameron Smith and Cameron Young look to wrap up among three leaders

Cam Smith is down the 18th and will have a micro slide to get up and down for birders and get to -13.

Cameron Young was to the left of the green and faces a long slide through #18 to also reach that mark.

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(Getty Images)

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