McIlroy, Hovland share lead heading into final round of British Open

Sports Desk, Jul 16 (EFE).- Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland each shot 66 Saturday on the Old Course at St. Andrews to vault to the top of the leaderboard in the 150th British Open with identical marks of 16 under.

The veteran from Northern Ireland and the young Norwegian began the day at 10 under, three strokes behind leader Cameron Smith and one behind Cameron Young in second place, and ended the round with an advantage of four strokes over the Australian and the American.

Hovland and McIlroy, the day’s penultimate pairing, pushed each other.

The man from Norway posted four consecutive birdies on the first six holes and McIlroy, in pursuit of a fifth major title and his first in eight years, responded with an eagle on the 10th hole.

Smith’s touch with the putter seemed to desert him on Saturday. He had a bogey on the first hole and double-bogeyed the 13th.

The greens were also unkind to Young, who managed to hit a 71 despite two bogeys and a double-bogey.

Current world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler of the United States, the reigning Masters champion, hit a 69 for a cumulative 11 under after three rounds, the same as South Korea’s Si Woo Kim.

American Dustin Johnson started the round well, with four birdies on the front nine, but bogeyed two holes on the back nine to finish the day with 71, good for 10 under overall.

Trailing the leaders by seven strokes are US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick and fellow Briton Tommy Fleetwood – who shot 66 Saturday – along with Australian Adam Scott, who recovered from three bogeys on the first nine to come in under par for the round. EFE caf/dr

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