South African van Rooyen looks to lock-up Irish title

11 Juillet, 2018, 06:08 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Rory McIlroy struggles on day three of Irish Open

Tournament favourite Rory McIlroy remains two under par at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship being played at Ballyliffin.

"It's not often there's value in my game".

After five holes he is four shots behind England's Lee Westwood who has moved six under after five holes - that's two under par for the day.

The three-time major victor recovered from a double bogey on the 13th, caused by a lost ball off the tee, with birdies on the 16th and 17th, only to also double-bogey the last in a back nine of 40.

"It's just a matter of being a little more efficient and taking my opportunities when I give myself them".

Ryan Fox, Matthieu Pavon and Erik van Rooyen shared the lead after the second round of the Irish Open while Danny Willett's return to form catapulted him into contention.

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Simon Thornton is tied with Lowry after also carding a 74, with Paul Dunne and Graeme McDowell a further shot back after rounds of 72 and 73 respectively.

Van Rooyen threatened to run away with the title during the first half of his third round, carding six birdies in an imperious display over the handsome links of Ballyliffin Golf Club in County Donegal.

"The mindset was just keep going, I guess", said the 28-year-old, looking to become only the second South African victor of the Irish Open after Bobby Locke in 1938.

"It's been an eye-opener to see how much goes into running a golf tournament and it's been great for me, especially for the future", McIlroy added. "You sometimes get in a groove as a golfer where things just happen and you hit great shots and great putts and that's what happened".

"It wasn't different on the back nine".

"I'm just sort of stuck in neutral this week and hopefully can finish off with a good one tomorrow", McIlroy said. "Looking back, all in all, I think it was a good day".

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