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After day three of the 2023 Scottish Open, Rory McIlroy still tops the leaderboard after another day of good golf in difficult conditions. After the weather picked up on Friday, the tournament organisers elected to bring everyone’s tee times forward on day three meaning McIlroy, who was playing in the final group as the tournament leader teed off at 9:12am.
The winds in North Berwick caused problems for everyone on the course but some fared better than others. Heading into the final day at The Renaissance Club tomorrow, the tournament is far from a foregone conclusion with just three shots separating nine players at the top of the leaderboard.
Scottish Open 2023 Leaderboard
Rory McIlroy (NIR)
Tom Kim (KOR)
Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)
Brian Harman (USA)
Eric Cole (USA)
J.T Poston (USA)
Shane Lowry (IRE)
Scottie Scheffler (USA)
Byeong Hun An (KOR)
Max Homa (USA)
Tom Hoge (USA)
Round three highlights
Rory keeps the lead
Going out last on Saturday, Rory McIlroy would have been well aware of how difficult the course was playing with those who had gone out earlier in the day struggling to get much going around the Renaissance Club. As the leader, a position the Northern Irishman is more than comfortable with, McIlroy didn’t try to do much on Saturday and played the course splendidly.
On day two, he felt like he left a few shots out on the course after a series of missed birdie putts, however, on day three his putting was a lot better and it needed to be with the wind swirling like it was. Up until the 12th hole, it looked as if McIlroy would pull further away from the field but a bogey there and on the par four 15th meant he had to settle for a round of 67 on day three.
Going into tomorrow, he will once again be going out earlier than anticipated due to the weather but a round of similar poise and patience should get the job done.
Fleetwood flies up the leaderboard
The best round on day three at the Scottish Open came from England’s Tommy Fleetwood. The 32-year-old didn’t start the tournament particularly well, despite being a predicted winner beforehand, and was in a battle to make the cut halfway through his round yesterday. However, ever since he made it on the back nine on Friday he hasn’t looked back and now is firmly in with a chance of winning the tournament.
On Saturday, he carded a round of 63 which was better than anyone else on the course just demonstrating how good he can play when he’s fully on it. One bogey on the 17th was the only blight on an otherwise faultless round of golf, and he will be in a confident move going into Friday as a member of the final group. If he can perform anything close to how he did on Friday then a first win on the PGA Tour awaits.
Tommy Fleetwood. Birdie to finish. T2. pic.twitter.com/e8NOKJpMQM
— Fore Play (@ForePlayPod) July 15, 2023
Lowry moves into contention
Shane Lowry hasn’t had the best of years on the PGA Tour, only securing one top-ten finish all season. However, he does enjoy playing in British conditions and has excelled over the past two days ever since the wind has picked up in Scotland. The greater the challenger, the better Lowry seems to play which benefitted him once again on day three.
The Irishman posted a score of 65 on Saturday, which included a spectacular eagle on the par five tenth. Going into Sunday, he is three shots behind McIlroy and will be bullish about his chances of securing the hefty prize money.
Hatton struggles in the bad weather
While some players relished the challenging conditions in Scotland, others let the bad weather get to them. One of those players was Tyrrell Hatton, who came into Saturday in a positive mood after a stunning round of 62 on Saturday but his inconsistency reared its ugly head once again on day three.
The Englishman’s round of 71, which included four bogeys and three birdies, has left him tied for 13th on the leaderboard. While he is known for streaky runs of magic, this might be too big of a mountain to climb with just 18 holes left to play.
Scottish Open 2023 updated odds
- Rory McIlroy – 6/4
- Tom Kim – 5/1
- Tommy Fleetwood – 6/1
- Scottie Scheffler – 7/1
- Shane Lowry – 12/1
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