Lowry storms into four-shot Open lead
Shane Lowry will take a four-shot lead into the final round of the 148th Open Championship following a spectacular third-round display.
The Irishman, who went into Saturday's third round at Portrush holding a share of the lead alongside JB Holmes, was able to take advantage of what were favourable conditions for the late starters.
Lowry did not drop a shot and registered eight birdies on his way to a round of 63 that has taken him onto 16-under-par for the tournament and perhaps the cusp of a first major title.
However, it is not the first time the 32-year-old has held a sizeable lead heading into the final round of a major championship, as he was four strokes clear of Dustin Johnson before the final 18 holes of the 2016 US Open, but a score of 76 ultimately put paid to his chances.
That may well be playing on Lowry's mind heading into Sunday's final round, which could come to the advantage of England's Tommy Fleetwood, who will play alongside the world number 33 in the final group.
Fleetwood also produced an unblemished round on Saturday, with his score of 66 moving him onto 12-under-par overall.
Holmes will also still feel he has a chance of lifting the Claret Jug, as he is six shots off the lead, while it would be foolish to discount major champions Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose, who are on nine-under, as the three men above them on the leaderboard have not won a major between them.
However, it appears to be Lowry's tournament to lose and he is hopeful of holding his nerve during what is likely to be the biggest 18 holes of his career to date.
"My mind is a bit fuzzy," Lowry told Sky Sports. "I just really enjoyed today. Obviously, I played great golf and the crowd were incredible. I just felt so comfortable out there. I am hoping I feel that comfortable out there tomorrow.
"I know it is going to b a tough 24 hours ahead of me. But there is nowhere else I would rather be. I have got a four-shot lead in the Open in Ireland."
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.