Louis Oosthuizen edges roller-coaster day to set up epic Open finale against Collin Morikawa and Jordan Spieth

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The Open 2021: live score and latest updates from the third round in Sandwich -  Harry Trump/R&A via Getty Images
The Open 2021: live score and latest updates from the third round in Sandwich - Harry Trump/R&A via Getty Images
  • Full Open Championship leaderboard

  • Oosthuizen regains momentum and lead with birdie at 16 with Morikawa one behind after late rally

  • Spieth's back-to-back bogeys on 17 and 18 ruin his round

  • Three bogeys on back nine undo McIlroy's fine start

Did three become two with Jordan Spieth’s extraordinary yanked tiddler here on the 18th or can the American banish the demons in time to deny South African Louis Oosthuizen his overdue second Open Championship?

Or will Collin Morikawa establish himself as the deadliest major debutant in modern times?

So many questions remain after a giddying third round in which so much happened and so little actually changed. On 12-under, Oosthuizen (69) still leads, but his advantage is now only one over Morikawa (68), with Spieth (69) remaining a further two strokes behind.

It sounds straightforward, yet it was anything but on a beautiful Royal St George’s Saturday when the sun blazed, the winds stayed generously out there on Pegwell Bay and the R&A acted the opposite in tucking away the pins in positions that were malevolent, if not ludicrously evil.

Spieth actually sprinted straight off the last green following his outrageous climax. He was sharing the lead with Oosthuizen and Morikawa when he parred the 16th, but in the ensuing dramatic 30 minutes, it all went wrong for the 2017 champion.

First he bogeyed the 17th from just off the green, and then he missed a two-footer to produce one of those groans from the grandstand that was half embarrassed, half incredulous. And so he stood there on the practice green with caddie Michael Greller and coach Cameron McCormick, trying to make sense of it all. Uncharacteristically, he declined to talk to reporters, but Paul Azinger, the former US Ryder Cup captain, was on hand to sum up the madness.

Louis Oosthuizen holds off Collin Morikawa charge to take lead into Open final round  - GETTY IMAGES
Louis Oosthuizen holds off Collin Morikawa charge to take lead into Open final round - GETTY IMAGES

“Oh my goodness, he almost missed a one-footer yesterday and I wonder if that was in the back of his head,” Azinger, the NBC analyst, said. “It just takes all the wind out of your sails and he’ll be totally deflated. Jordan played a terrific round but that’s a shock to the system that he’ll feel in his gut. You have to ask if he can get over it by tomorrow.”

The duo in the final group has the scent. Oosthuizen has racked up six runners-up in the majors since his St Andrews glory in 2010, including in the last two majors themselves. Morikawa won in his first USPGA last year and now attempts to pull off the same rookie heroics in the Open - and nobody has ever achieved anything like that before.

Because of his laser-like irons, Morikawa might just be the favourite, although fate would be cruel if it stopped Oosthuizen from becoming the first wire-to-wire Open since Rory McIlroy in 2014. The 38-year-old has his poker face already affixed and was refusing to get caught up in the emotion of the occasion, pointing the finger at the organisers for their course set-up.

"The R&A clearly weren't happy with the low scoring so they put some pins out there that were very questionable,” Oosthuizen, who had set a record low score for the first two rounds. “It was tough and I'm glad I could hold it together. I definitely wasn't swinging freely today, was a little all over the place with my iron shots. But I’m excited and am in a great position. There's lots of golf left, but it was so great with all the fans. It felt like it was a Sunday afternoon really when I made the putt and I was taking the lead.

Oosthuizen was referring to his birdie on the 16th that handed him the daylight over his playing partner. But the charge Morikawa had earlier produced after a sloppy start with two dropped shots in the first six holes also felt definitive. The 24-year-old was four-under for eight holes from the seventh and looked ominously controlled. His words conveyed the same uncluttered message.

"To be honest, I formulated a game plan and I stick to it," Morikawa said. "Obviously, a final round at a major is different, but I'm going to try and keep it as similar as possible to every other tournament I've played. Yeah, I’m in contention, but it doesn’t mean I have to change. I’ve built this routine and hope it’s bulletproof.”

One back from Spieth is another American in Scottie Scheffler, after a 69, along with Corey Conners, who in his 66 once again revealed his ball-striking prowess. If the Canadian can convert a few putts, he could be a live candidate.

Jon Rahm, the world No 2, is also not entirely out of the equation on seven-under after a 68 that would have been so much more alluring but for three bogeys. “Because of the weather conditions it's easy to think it could have been a little bit better, but the pin locations were no joke,” Rahm said, echoing Oosthuizen. “I don't know if the viewers could appreciate it, but those are some of the hardest pin locations collectively I've ever seen.”

The anticipated charges of world No 1 Dustin Johnson and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka never materialised. The former could only manage a 73 to stand on four-under, while the latter stumbled to a 72 for three-under.

Alas, the home challenge has fizzled out into ashes. Paul Casey and Andy Sullivan are the best-placed at five-under following a 70 and 71, but the pair require something verging on the miraculous to become the first Englishman to win an Open staged in England in 52 years.

So the Open will head to St Andrews in 2022 with Sir Nick Faldo being the last English winner since 1992 - 30 years of hurt and all that. Scotland could even boast the top UK player by Sunday night, despite only having one representative in the field. Bob MacIntyre, the left-handed 24-year-old, holed a 50-footer on the 18th for a 65, the best score of the day, to move to five-under.

MacIntyre has the opportunity at least to match his tie for sixth at Portrush and add yet more substance to his ever-growing reputation. A strong Sunday would also strengthen MacIntyre’s Ryder Cup claims for September’s. So much to play for at a venue where circumstances can switch in one thrilling heartbeat.

06:51 PM

Leading positions after round three

Oosthuizen -12 (F)
Morikawa -11 (F)
Spieth -9 (F)
Conners -8 (F), Scheffler -8 (F)
Rahm -7 (F), Hughes -7 (F), Frittelli -7 (F)

06:50 PM

Oosthuizen is the overnight leader

Louis judges the undulating green perfectly to leave himself a tiddler for par. He finishes on -12.

Over to Collin, who takes his time ... and eventually steers it inches to the left of the cup.

06:48 PM

Morikawa has the best of the birdie chances at 18

Louis Oosthuizen's iron is on the line of the pin but 30ft short and he has a big dipper to get over to get it near. Collin's goes beyond the pin but it will be a flattish straight putt from 12ft for a share of the lead.

06:42 PM

Both of last pair on the fairway at 18

Two perfect shots with three woods, bang in the heart of the fairway.

06:39 PM

Morikawa and Oosthuizen make pars at 17

Which leaves the leader board looking like this:

Oosthuizen -12 (17)
Morikawa -11 (17)
Spieth -9 (F)
Conners -8 (F), Scheffler -8 (F)
Rahm -7 (F), Hughes -7 (F), Frittelli -7 (F)

06:36 PM

Spieth has a birdie putt at 18

I'd lag up. most of us would lag up but he takes it on naturally and he rolls it 4ft past.

Oh my, he misses the tap-in for par and drops to -9.

06:26 PM

Momentum changer indeed for Oosthuizen

He happily sweeps in his birdie putt to regain sole possession of the lead as Morikawa makes par. Two hard-nosed putts on 15 and 16 from the South African. Two to play. Big swing-shift on Spieth there.

Ooosthuizen -12 (16)
Morikawa -11 (16)
Spieth -10 (17)
Conners -8 (F)
Scheffler -8 (F)
Rahm -7 (F)
Hughes -7 (F) S

06:23 PM

Birdie chance for Oosthuizen at 16

His swing is back to pendulum perfection and he goes for the pin at the par three, firing his iron about 8ft short. Morikawa will have a little further, maybe 18ft to make birdie.

One hole ahead at 17, Spieth's second spins back off the green and down the swale, leaving him a tricky up and down. He's usually the master of these but chips his third 15ft past and he leaves his putt high by about two inches. A bogey for him and he drops to -10.

06:18 PM

Great par save from Oosthuizen on 15

Retaining a share of the lead and perhaps changing the momentum after hooking his second to the left of the green and pitching on only to 12ft. But he rolls it in and rescues himself after some troublesome moments with his swing. Morikawa left himself an uphill putt from the cressy fringe for birdie, maybe 10ft but left it short and strides purposefully still with the honour to the 16th tee level with his partner and Spieth.

06:13 PM

What a comeback from Marcel Siem

Who overcame the pain of a triple bogey eight at 14 when his tee shot was sliced out of bounds and on to the adjoining Princes course. Instead of rolling into a ball and allowing his eyes to moisten, he makes birdies at 16 and 17 to finish on -6, one behind Rahm, the leading European.

06:11 PM

Jason Spieth has a birdie putt on 16

'In the Spieth zone' ie it's within 35ft but downhill and he twirls the flatstick in his hands after sweeping it close but not close enough to drop. He stays on -11 with two to play.

06:01 PM

Morikawa has an eagle chance at 14

After two fine shots off the tee and with a long iron. It's maybe 25ft, fairly flat and straight. Oh, the speed takes it a foot to the left. He taps in for birdie, though and takes a share of the lead with Spieth and Oosthuizen, who saves par with an excellent fourth after going far too long with his second.

Spieth -11 (15)
Ooosthuizen -11 (14)
Morikawa -11 (14)
Conners -8 (F)
Frittelli -8 (13)
Rahm -7 (F)
Hughes -7 (F)
Scheffler -7 (16)

05:51 PM

Spieth doesn't make the birdie on 14

Leaving his 12ft putt surprisingly short but he taps in for par to continue to share the lead at -11.

05:46 PM

Morikawa makes a birdie on 13, Oosthuizen drops a stroke

Big swing now as Morikawa draining his 15ft birdie putt takes him up to -10 as Oosthuizen left his chip from the left of the green about 20ft short and he couldn't make par.

Spieth has a birdie chance on 14, too.

Oosthuizen -11 (13)
Spieth -11 (13)
Morikawa -10 (13)
Conners -8 (F)
Frittelli -8 (13)
Rahm -7 (F)
Hughes -7 (F)
Scheffler -7 (14)

05:41 PM

O Canada II

A word on Mackenzie Hughes who made birdies on 14, 16 and 18 to finish on 68 for the round and -7 on debut as he goes into Sunday.

05:38 PM

Instant recompense eludes Oosthuizen

He has maybe 13ft for a birdie the 12th and left it two circumferences short of the hole as it fades off to the right. No problem for the par.

Nor for Spieth who gets up and down from a wild and crazy second into the sand at the 13th to stay only one stroke behind the South African.

Oosthuizen -12 (12)
Spieth -11 (13)
Morikawa -9 (12)
Conners -8 (F)
Frittelli -8 (10)
Rarm -7 (F)
Hughes -7 (F)
Scheffler -7 (14)

05:33 PM

A quick round-up

Birdies for defending champion Shane Lowry at 16 and 17 take him into tomorrow on -5.

Jon Rahm, US Open champion , made three birdies and a bogey on the back nine to finish on -7.

And Andy Sullivan is the leading Englishman on +1 for the day and -5 for the competition as he goes to the 15th tee.

05:22 PM

Corey Conners is the clubhouse leader

With birdies at 10, 12, 13 and 14 plus 14 pars, he goes in on eight under par.

Spieth scrambles the par save at 12, rolling the 60ft birdie effort past the cup on the right then nailing the return from the front of the green from 7ft into the heart of the cup. He stays on -11, one behind Oosthuizen.

05:19 PM

Oosthuizen drops a shot at 11

'Down with a bad combover in deadsville,' says Wayne Riley of Spieth's lie in the cabbage at 12. He makes a sensational stroke from 120 yards to the pin to hack it out and on to the green.

The 11th does for Oosthuizen what it did for Spieth. He leaves his par putt high on the left and he drops a stroke to -12 with only his second bogey in 47 holes here.

05:15 PM

A thought that begs for caution

05:10 PM

Pars for Oosthuizen and Morikawa at the 10th

Oosthuizen had a chance of birdie with an 18-footer breaking from the left but left it low.

Spieth is in the bunker off the tee at the par three 11th and his chip gives him a downhill putt for par, breaking from right to left and he comes up short, falling to -11. Frittelli also drops a stroke to -8.

That bogey restores Oosthuizen's two-stroke lead.

05:04 PM

Sir Nick Faldo's opinion

Sky's guest commentator is relishing the possibility of a 1977 style shootout between Spieth and Oosthuizen tomorrow (see Donald Trump) and favours ... Spieth.

04:57 PM

Not for long ...

Because Spieth keeps slugging at the leader, one hole ahead, by draining a nasty looking squiggly birdie putt from 12ft and he moves up to -12.

So we have:

Oosthuizen -13 (9)
Spieth -12 (10)
Frittelli -9 (10)
Morikawa -9 (9)
Conners -8 (16)

04:52 PM

Oosthuizen restores his two stroke lead

The No1-ranked putter on the tour rattles in an 18-footer to go to -13, two ahead of Spieth.

The back nine should be easier given the wind is dying.

04:47 PM

Spieth and Frittelli head to the 10th after pars at nine

Jordan goes out in 32, Dylan in 33.

04:42 PM

Morikawa is back to where he began

A battling birdie on eight, his second, rights the wrongs of the two bogeys and he is now back to -9, tied for third with Frittelli.

His playing partner, the leader Oosthuizen, has a 16ft birdie putt, uphill and breaking slightly to the right. He puts it in the same postcode but cannot get it to turn right at the end. Par for him and his lead remains at one stroke.

04:33 PM

Spieth and Frittelli save par on eight

As Morikawa slips in his birdie tiddler on seven to climb to within a stroke of Frittelli on -8, tied with Conners who sinks a third successive birdie on 14, Spieth gets a lucky break with his second shot from a downward slope which allows him to chip to 6ft. Frittelli gets up and down from the fescue.

04:28 PM

Donald Trump is watching the Open

And has this to say in a formal statement. Praise soon gives way to grievance and, of course, the big sell:

Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

I have spent some time watching The Open Championship (formerly known as The British Open), and it is terrific! But as almost all of the great players, sportscasters, and golf aficionados know, the greatest site and course of all for The Open is Turnberry, in Scotland. It is truly a magical place, the players want to be there, and at some point in time the players will be there. But this course was not chosen for The Open because they consider a wonderful person, and many-time Club Champion, named Donald J. Trump, to be too controversial—this is, of course, a false reputation caused mainly by the Fake News Media. Remember, though, controversy only makes things "hotter." In any event, Turnberry is also the course where the greatest match of all time was played, nicknamed “The Dual in the Sun,” which boiled down to an Open between the great Jack Nicklaus and the great Tom Watson.

Turnberry is on the ocean with the most spectacular holes, sightlines, shots, and seaside views of any course in the World. It is a shame that the phenomenal Turnberry Golf links, the best in the World, sits empty during Open Championships, while far lesser courses are on display. Oh well, life proceeds forward! Someday The Open will be back at Turnberry.

Formerly known? Improperly known. And he needs a sub-editor for Duel in the Sun.

04:24 PM

Oosthuizen and Morikawa have eagle putts on seven

Having matched Spieth and Frittelli by finding the heart of the green in two.

Morikawa goes first, up and down, maybe 50ft. Oh my goodness, it's a fine effort but it stays up on the left. Should be a gimme for a birdie.

Oosthuizen's effort from 5ft closer in curls around the back of the cup and veers off to the left. Should still be close enough, 5ft, for a birdie. It is. That's his first of the day and he takes sole possession of the lead at -12.

04:14 PM

Spieth has a share of the lead

With another sensational putt on seven, matched by Frittelli. A birdie apiece which means Spieth and Oosthuizen are on -11, Frittelli two back and the field a further two strokes behind.

04:12 PM

Moving on moving day

Is Corey Conners with birdies at 10, 12 and 13 after starting with nine pars. O Canada.

A bead of sweat for those following Oosthuizen and perhaps invested in him as he sweeps a birdie effort on six seven feet past. He brushes it aside by steering in the par putt.

04:04 PM

Oosthuizen scrambles a save on five

After uncharacteristically blocking when playing his iron shots and leaking them down the right, giving him a narrow approach through the gully at six, he bumps his third stroke to within tap-in distance.

Morikawa, however, having gone wrong off the tee and given himself the trickiest of third shots, on a downhill slope on the green-defending fescue, he leaves his 12ft par putt short. That's his second bogey of the day and he joins Justin Harding on seven-under.

Dylan Frittelli, playing with his old college roomie and team-mate Spieth, makes his first advance of the day by matching Jordan's birdie at the sixth and is now in third on -8.

03:57 PM

Spieth grabs the dropped shot back

With a glorious tee shot at the par three sixth that is hit into the breeze which gives it a soft landing maybe 7ft short and he brooms in the birdie putt to go back to -10 and within a shot of the leader.

03:49 PM

Morikawa and Oosthuizen go par for par on four

Morikawa had the better birdie opportunity but left the ball high on the left.

One hole ahead Spieth makes his first error. Having been imperious from 30ft, he pulls a seven-footer for par at the fifth to the left of the cup. That leaves Oosthuizen on -11, Spieth on9 and Morikawa on -8.

One further behind is Justin Harding, now all alone on seven-under after a run of six successive pars following his birdie at the second.

03:44 PM

Up on 18 Lee Westwood finishes with a birdie

It's his second of the day alongside four bogeys that mean he will sign for a 72 and begin Sunday on par.

03:34 PM

Birdie for Spieth at the fourth

He drains a monster from 30ft at the fourth and eases to -10, one shot behind Oosthuizen who makes par at the third, as does Morikawa with an iron-willed up and down to leave him two behind Spieth.

03:31 PM

An eagle for Danny Willett

At the 10th with a wedge that takes a couple of bounces on the green then rolls into the cup. That takes him up to six-under and the position of leading European/Brit/Englishman/Yorkshireman/Deedar.

03:28 PM

It's as if Oosthuizen is playing matchplay

He keeps upping the pressure on Morikawa with stroke after stroke of poise and precision. Morikawa, after wobbling on the first and second, balloons his tee shot on the third tee, floating it to the left of the green giving him a tricky effort to save par even with two strokes.

03:24 PM

Morikawa in bother

Spieth has a horrible uphill birdie putt from about 50ft at the third and even with his fast hands he can't get it any closer than about 4ft. He saves par, though. Has the look of a winning bet about him.

Morikawa has splashed out to the fairway, about 120 yards to the pin but overcooks his pitch and his ball sails over the cup and has left him with a difficult par-saver.

Oosthuizen spears his birdie putt to the right of the cup and has to tap in for par.

Morikawa effectively lags up to about 5ft then drains his bogey putt to drop down to -8.

03:17 PM

Morikawa in the bunker at the second

He hooked his tee shot and immediately sighed in frustration. Oosthuizen, his velvet swing in full slick order, drives straight into the heart of the fairway. Morikawa splashes out onto the fairway. Oosthuizen pitches pin high to within about 20ft though it's a brute of a pint position at two today.

03:10 PM

Spieth on the rise

A terrific second shot from an awkward position to 4ft short of the cup allows him to roll in his birdie putt at the second to join Morikawa on -9. The last pair both made par at the first and are on the second tee.

03:07 PM

Rahm makes a move

The US Open champion began with a boget but sweeping in his birdie putt at the par three sixth takes him up to -6.

Spieth and Fritelli make par on the first. Morikawa is in trouble in the bunker but splashes out to eight feet to give him a decent chance of birdie.

The big faller is Emiliano Grillo who has triple bogeyed the par three third after making a birdie at the second. From -7, it's a precipitous fall to -4 at just one hole.

02:58 PM

The leader tees off

After Collin Morikawa arcs his drive down the middle, Oosthuizen achieves comparable distance but a little down the left, still on the fairway.

02:57 PM

Not all bad news for DeChambeau

As Brooks Koepka, who began on five under par, bogeys two, three and five. His putter has been cryogenically frozen.

02:53 PM

Kevin Streelman is the new clubhouse leader

After making par at 18, his four birdies and 14 pars propel his climb to -5.

The penultimate pair Jordan Spieth and Dylan Frittelli has just teed off with solid drives into the heart of the fairway.

Cam Smith, the Aussie who was second in last year's long delayed Masters, has made a brisk start with birdies at the first, sixth and seventh to take a share of fourth place on seven-under alongside Frittelli, DJ, Harding, Scottie Scheffler and Emiliano Grillo.

02:39 PM

Justin Harding climbs up to fifth

The South African who, famously, has never had a coach advances to -7 when he drains a 25ft putt on the second green. He made 67 on Thursday and Friday, showing remarkable consistency and his putter is hot, hot, hot.

02:27 PM

Kisner's rotten day

Kevin Kisner, second at Carnoustie in 2018, is toiling today. Starting at one-under, he teed off with a double bogey at the first and has followed it with bogeys at five, seven, eight, nine and 11. Only a birdie at the 10th has sweetened the gruel. He's five over par with four to play.

02:22 PM

Paul Casey in trouble at the first

Tangled up in fescue 50 yards to the left of the pin and playing his fourth shot. A superb recovery out of the long grass to within 6ft gives him a chance to stem the bleeding at just a bogey and a one-stroke loss down to -4.

Jon Rahm has his lost shot back with a birdie at the 3rd, rattling in a 45ft uphill and down dale putt. He moves back to five-under.

02:17 PM

Streelman moves to five-under

With a birdie at 17 in his faultless round. One to play and a later start tomorrow is all but guaranteed.

The wind has died down, however and it's likely that someone in the remaining six pairs is going to go very low indeed on this gloriously warm afternoon on the Kent coast.

02:04 PM

McIlroy signs for a 69

Out in 31 and big talk of a course and possibly championship record evaporate on the back nine with three bogeys though he closes out with three successive pars.

At the start, Jon Rahm begins with a bogey at the first.

02:01 PM

Patience pays off for Kevin Streelman

He is on four-under after 15, with birdies at three, 10 and 14. Streelman is a favourite player of the 45th president of the United States, who made a gift of golf clubs to him three years ago, and is the poster boy for a hair 'restoration' business.

01:57 PM

Kokrak joins MacIntyre with the clubhouse lead

The Xavier University alumnus (Xavier was the place where Henry Heimlich of manoeuvre fame had tenure) closed out his faultless round with a par at the 18th to record a 66 for the day and -4 for the championship, seven shots off the lead.

01:51 PM

Ian Poulter on the 9th fairway

Has steadied the ship after that blip of back-to-back bogeys at three and four with a birdie at the 5th followed by three successive pars. He's a stroke behind his starting position on one-under.

The wind is up to about 9mph, according to Sky's Ewen Murray

01:46 PM

Tommy Fleetwood up five places

Having begun with par-bogey, he has been impeccable since with birdies at the 3rd and 7th and a hat-trick of pars the meat in the sandwich. At -3, he is well poised,

Sergio Garcia, meanwhile, who was on four-under after his bird at the first, slipped back with a double bogey at two and bogey at three. He has just reclaimed one of those dropped strokes with a birdie at the fifth. Never change, Sergio.

01:27 PM

A third bogey in six holes for McIlroy

All but undoes his spectacular work at the start/ From -4 at the turn, after his bogey at 15 he is now no better than -1. Sums up his back nine so far.

Par at the 16th is greeted riotously by the gallery. McIlroy is one-under with two to play.

01:25 PM

Under the radar

Jason Kokrak, the world No24 who won the Charles Schwab challenge eight weeks ago, has made a fourth birdie of the day at the 17th (a round with no bogeys) to move to -4 for the day and the championship.

01:20 PM

Robert MacIntrye cards the low round of the day so far

The talented young Scot birdies the last two holes to end with a five-under 65. He'll be on four-under heading into the final round.

01:14 PM

Lowry's approach at the first

Ends in the greenside bunker. But he has one of the best short games in the world and he gets up and down for par.

It's the same story for McIlroy on the 14th - he saves par from the bunker on the par-five to stay at two-under.

01:12 PM

Danny Willett's drive at the first

Finds the fairway - it's proved to be a tricky tee shot for many but that is perfect from the 2016 Masters champion who is on four-under. His playing partner Brian Harman's drive is pulled right into the rough - not ideal.

01:04 PM

Lowry's third round is under way

The defending champion's drive is fine - it finds the first cut of rough on the left. He'll be hoping for a Saturday exactly like the one he enjoyed at Royal Portrush two years ago.

01:00 PM

It's sunny at Royal St George's

12:59 PM

Rory goes backwards

After his great start the Northern Irishman has just bogeyed the 13th and is two-over for the back nine now after going out in four-under. He's back to two-under.

12:57 PM

Shane Lowry is about to tee off

The defending champion had a brilliant day yesterday in a stunning threeball. The Irish winner at Royal Portrush shot 65 to head into today's third round on four-under. Another good round today will put him further in the mix ahead of the final 18 holes. The Champion Golfer of the Year more than played his part in the marquee group on Friday as alongside his 65, Louis Oosthuizen also shot a 65 and Jon Rahm a magnificent 64 - impressive.

12:47 PM

Tough day for Rickie Fowler

The man who tied for second in 2014 behind McIlroy began with bogeys at two, three and four then two more at 11 and 12 but birdies at 13 and 16 seemed to have stopped the rot. Now, however, he has just recorded his fifth bogey of the day at 17 and is +4 with one to play.

Just a reminder that the leader will begin his third round at 3.55pm:

12:42 PM

McIlroy on 12 with a 12ft putt for birdie

But it's a tricky one, breaking from right to left and he almost judges it perfectly, certainly the weight as he pushed it up a slight gradient. But when it hit the break and curled back towards the cup it came later and bent around the top of the back lip leaving him a gimme for par.

He is three-under with six to play.

12:31 PM

Second bogey for McIlroy

At the par three 11th after putting his tee shot into the bunker to the right of the green. He is now back to three-under.

12:29 PM

De Chambeau signs for a 72

Repairing the damage of bogeys at 13 and 15 with birdies at 14 and 17.

Interesting take, this:

12:26 PM

Talor Gooch

Is the clubhouse leader after three rounds on -2 after opening with 13 pars then finishing with birdie, bogey and a hat-trick of birdies. The boy from Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain, is playing his first Open.

Tommy Fleetwood, with a healthy following, opens with two pars to great acclaim.

And Bob Macintyre joins Gooch on two-under with his fourth birdie today at the 14th.

12:19 PM

Adam Scott shows his intestinal fortitude

After this at the fourth which led to a double bogey:

He recovers with a birdie at the fifth to halve the damage and go back up to +1.

Meanwhile on 10, McIlroy's drive flew wildly to the right, his second went into the bunker whence he played an amazing splash out of the sand to 5ft. No drama as he taps in his par-saving putt and marches up to the 11th tee still on -4.

12:07 PM

Sky shows McIlroy's birdie putt at nine

Earned by an arrow of an iron shot to within 8ft and he swept it into the cup.

12:02 PM

As Sky goes to a bunker tutorial

Rory McIlroy finishes his opening nine in 31 after his fifth birdie of the morning at the 9th. The 2014 champion is now on -4.

11:50 AM

Up on the eighth

McIlroy baton twirls the club in his hand after rolling his birdie putt from 20ft to the right of the cup, only a couple of turns from dropping in. He has to settle for a par but seems in great spirits. No Co Down gloom today, but positivity, rueful smiles and fist pumps.

11:47 AM

Justin Thomas woes

On the par three third where he was annoyed to have left his par putt 4ft short but then doubled his exasperation with his bogey putt as it lips out. After starting with two pars, the double bogey sends him from red to black at +1.

Antoine Rozner is also having a yoyo moment as he turns the corner going birdie, bogey par at the 7th, 8th and 9th and then birdie, bogey, birdie and 10, 11 and 12.

11:39 AM

Bryson Deyoyo

After dropping a stroke at the par four 13th, DeChambeau scrambles back to +3 after a birdie at 14, set up by a magnificent bunker shot.

11:37 AM

He knows him too well ...

11:35 AM

McIlroy in contention at the seventh

He was upset when his second flirted with the bunker but had too much power and skipped on to 60 yards short of the pin which is placed high and to the right today. His third stroke is a beauty though, pitching perfectly and within 5ft to give him a golden chance of birdie and a climb up to three-under. Richard Boxall had virtually given it to him but then rowed back.

But no need as he taps it in for a fourth birdie in seven holes and he is, indeed, on -3.

11:20 AM

McIlroy makes immediate amends

At the sixth with a terrific iron shot to 8ft at the par three and he earns the loudest cheer of the week so far when he drains his birdie putt. Back to two-under. On Sky they are already talking up the possibility of a course record, potential for which "he has in his locker". On to the par five seventh where he made bogey on Thursday and par yesterday.

11:16 AM

Putt like a child

Bob Macintyre needed to make a 7ft birdie putt on 18 last night to make the cut and rolled it in. "I just had a blank head and putted like a kid," he said. "It was a beautiful putt." He is continuing where he left off yesterday, with excellent birdies at the 7th and 8th, the left-hander curling in an 18ft wobbler at the latter to move to -1.

11:10 AM

Too soon ...

McIlroy has dropped a shot on the fifth, the hole that has been playing fourth hardest of the 18 over the first couple of rounds. He bogeyed it on Thursday too, igniting a run of three in succession. He putted off the green to the fringewith his third, leaving him almost 20ft for par which he was unable to make.

10:56 AM

Movement on the course

Paul McGinley reports that the tee boxes are now as far back as possible, the pin positions are very challenging and the breeze is up.

This morning's biggest mover is Antoine Rozner, who won in Dubai in December, Qatar in March and is in 23rd place in the Ryder Cup points table, who has made birdies and five and seven to climb to -1.

Actually he's now the joint biggest mover after Rory McIlroy rattles in a 15ft putt for birdie at the fourth. The 2014 champions is now on -2, nine behind Oosthuizen and seven adrift of Morikawa on the Hillary step.

10:50 AM

DeChambeau drops back

Having begun his third round at one-over and started with eight successive pars, a double bogey at the ninth has left him at +3.

Abraham Ancer began on even pat but started with a triple bogey on the first and a bogey at the second to lurch back to +4.

Rory McIlroy with a decent shout of birdie at the third left his snaking putt high but rolled it in to save par and stays at -1.

10:47 AM

Second round leaders over the past five years

2019 Shane Lowry went on to win.

2018 Zach Johnson tied for 17th

2017 Jordan Spieth went on to win

2016 Phil Mickelson finished second

2015 Dustin Johnson made back-to-back 75s on rounds three and four to finish tied 49th at St Andrews

10:36 AM

Promising news from the first

Where Rory McIlroy has opened his third round with a birdie three to move to one-under.

McIlroy plays a similar role to Woods in driving interest in every major and as much fun as he is to watch at his best, he does tend to skew the narrative.

Nonetheless, I will report that he has made par at the second and hit a wonderful iron shot at the par three third off the tee into the heart of the green.

10:17 AM

Good morning!

Good morning and welcome to Telegraph Sport's live coverage of day three of the 149th Open Championship from Royal St George's.

This morning, Bryson Dechambeau started in just the second group of the day and currently sits at one over. Rory McIlroy has made a good start - a birdie on the first - after teeing off at 11.05am.

Last night, Louis Oosthuizen ensured he would take a two-shot lead into the third round after recording the lowest halfway total in championship history.

Oosthuizen fired an eagle and four birdies as he added a 65 to his opening 64 for a total of 129, eclipsing the previous best of 130 set by Sir Nick Faldo in 1992 and matched by Brandt Snedeker in 2012.

Only a bogey on the 16th prevented Oosthuizen from matching the lowest halfway score in any major - Brooks Koepka's 128 in the 2019 US PGA - but he will be more concerned with the Claret Jug than records after the events of this season.

Already a runner-up in all four major championships, Oosthuizen took his unwanted total of near misses to six by finishing second in both the US PGA at Kiawah Island and the US Open at Torrey Pines.

But the 38-year-old South African, who won the Open at St Andrews in 2010 and lost a play-off at the same venue in 2015, is in pole position to claim an overdue second major after following birdies on the first, seventh, 12th and 13th with an eagle on the 14th.

At 11 under par Oosthuizen was two shots clear of 2020 US PGA champion Collin Morikawa, with three-time major winner Jordan Spieth a stroke further back.

Morikawa had earlier been blissfully unaware of his own chance to make history, seven birdies in the first 14 holes meaning he needed to play the remaining four in two under to card the lowest round in any men's major.

However, Morikawa bogeyed the 15th and missed good birdie chances on the 16th and 18th to return a 64, a shot outside the course record and two adrift of the major mark set by Branden Grace at Royal Birkdale in 2017.

Morikawa's halfway total of 131 was also a shot outside the Open record which Oosthuizen would later break, but he said: "I had no clue what any record was. I'm awful with that stuff. I know now."

Morikawa could only finish in a tie for 71st in last week's Scottish Open but credited the experience - and changing three of his irons to cope with the links turf - for his performance at Royal St George's, where Ben Curtis was the last debutant to win the Open in 2003.

The biggest difference is that Curtis was 396th in the world at the time, while Morikawa is ranked fourth and already a major champion following his victory at Harding Park last August.