McIlroy & Hovland Share The Lead: Day Three At The Open Championship

The two Europeans share a lead of -16 going into a super Sunday at St Andrews.
20:33, 16 Jul 2022

All eyes were focused on the duel between Norway’s Viktor Hovland and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy on a superb Saturday of action at the 150th Open Championship. 

The first birdie of the day went to Kevin Kisner, grabbing one on the first to kickstart on what was the performance of the day, shooting a 65, with the closest to him being Rory McIlroy with a 66. After starting the day at even par, that saw him finish tied 13th for the day at -7. 

Other highlights of the morning saw LIV Golf’s Bryson DeChambeau start positively, grabbing an eagle on the ninth which he later nullified with a double bogey on the 16th. Regardless, a 67 for ‘The Scientist’ was positive and he finished on -5 for the day, -6 for the week. He wasn’t the only LIV Golf player attracting attention on Saturday either.

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Dustin Johnson, although not in form worthy of sitting atop the standings, performed admirably as he battled the greens at St Andrews. Starting the day on -9, he worked hard to find his place in the top five with three birdies on the front nine. Unfortunately, he scuppered his own success with three birdies on holes 13, 14 and 16, including overshooting the green entirely with a seemingly simple pitch. Alas, a birdie on 18 kept him under par for the day, and he is seventh going into the final day of action.

The main event remained Rory McIlroy, hotly tipped throughout the build-up of the tournament to make his mark and be amongst the top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon. An incredible chip-in eagle on hole 10 saw a loud reaction that was more Old Firm than Old Course, and that moved him to 15 under alongside fellow European and then-leader, Viktor Hovland.

Norway's Viktor Hovland eyes up his second shot on the fourth hole.
Norway's Viktor Hovland eyes up his second shot on the fourth hole.

McIlroy and Hovland were paired together and will continue to be on Sunday, with the pair exchanging birdies and eagles in an epic battle to hold the top berth going into the championship day. 

Despite leading the Norwegian on -16, a bogey on 17 put McIlroy back level going into the final hole, in which the pair both earned birdies after reaching the green in one on the final par four. 

Just below them in the table was day one’s leader, Cameron Young, partnered with Aussie Cameron Smith. Young impressed previously and mustered up a -1 for the day , but his partner will be less than impressed. Smith, known for his accurate short game, had a bit of a nightmare round, opening the round with a bogey, and ruining his day further with a double bogey on 13, after finding bunkers and bushes on his pursuit of the green. He finished +1 but remains tied third. 

He sits -11 for the week, alongside world number one Scottie Scheffler. Four birdies and a bogey on the 12th hole saw Scheffler move up to 5th for the weekend. With his excellent performances so far this year, don’t be surprised to see Scottie attempting to claw his way to the top of the leaderboard on Sunday. 

Also worth a shoutout is Tommy Fleetwood, Trey Mullinax and Francesco Molinari. The Englishman, American and Italian walked into the clubhouse after shooting rounds of 66, the second best of the day behind Kevin Kisner. Fleetwood, a clear fan favourite and supporter of The Open, ended up the highest of the three, sitting 7th by the end of the day. 

Going into Sunday, Rory McIlroy remains the favourite, priced at 9/10 with Betfred. Viktor Hovland sits at 15/8, ahead of the Cameron’s, Smith 9/1 and Young 14/1. 

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