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Brian Harman retains five-shot lead at Open Championship

Harman retains five-shot lead at Open Championship
© Reuters
American Brian Harman retains his five-shot lead at the Open Championship at Hoylake after carding a third-round 69.

Brian Harman has recorded a third-round 69 to retain his five-shot lead at the Open Championship at Hoylake.

Having witnessed the lower half of the field benefit from the easier playing conditions, the American went out at 3.30pm (BST) with the rain and wind ready to make an impact.

When the left-hander bogeyed two of his first four holes, his advantage quickly became two, but four birdies between holes five and 13 have kept him clear of the chasing pack.

Harman will be joined in the final group on Sunday by compatriot Cameron Young, who carded six birdies for a fine 66 towards the end of the day.

Saturday's best round came from Jon Rahm, with the world number three producing a sensational 63 - his best round at a major championship - after remarkably posting seven birdies in his final 10 holes.

While the Masters champion is in third, as many as five players are one shot further adrift in a share of fourth, with Tommy Fleetwood joining Jason Day, Viktor Hovland, Antoine Rozner and Sepp Straka after only carding a level-par 71.

Rory McIlroy had to be content with a 69 after wasting an array of birdie chances throughout Saturday, with the 2014 Open champion now in a share of 11th and eight shots behind Harman.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama are among those in a tie for 17th, but world number one Scottie Scheffler will be one of the early starters on Sunday after a round of 72 saw him drop down to 63rd position.

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Tommy Fleetwood during first round of the Open Championship on July 20, 2023.
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