07/20 11:17 CDT The Latest: Willett shoots 65, ties best round of week
The Latest: Willett shoots 65, ties best round of week
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) --- The Latest on the British Open (all times
Danny Willett has moved into contention at the British Open by shooting 6-under
65, tying the best round of the week at Royal Portrush.
Willett is 7 under for the tournament and holds the clubhouse lead, three
strokes behind the leaders out on the course.
The 2016 Masters champion was bogey-free in his third round and made six
birdies. He missed a 4-foot putt for birdie at the last.
Kyle Stanley says he was "caught off guard" after being criticized by a playing
partner for not alerting spectators to an errant tee shot, and described the
incident as a "non-issue."
Bob MacIntyre said after his round on Friday he was angry with Stanley for not
yelling "Fore" before his tee shot went into the crowd on the 17th hole. The
ball hit the mother of MacIntrye's caddie.
Speaking after his third round Saturday at Royal Portrush, Stanley said his
caddie, his playing partners and some volunteers or marshals all shouted
"Fore," and he thought "that was enough."
Stanley said he hasn't apologized to MacIntyre and doesn't feel he needed to be
"schooled on the rules of golf."
Stanley, who didn't play with MacIntyre on Saturday, shot 2-over 73 in the
third round and was 2 over for the championship.
The leaders at the British Open have started their third rounds.
Shane Lowry of Ireland and J.B. Holmes of the United States are both at 8 under
and will play together in the final pairing on Saturday.
Lowry shot 4-under 67s on both days. Holmes shot a 5-under 66 on Thursday and
followed that with a 3-under 68 on Friday.
The pair finished the first two rounds one stroke ahead of Tommy Fleetwood and
Gary McNeill was simply making up the numbers in the third round of the British
Open. He still had a blast.
The head professional of Royal Portrush since 1999, McNeill realized at 8:30
p.m. on Friday that he might be needed the following day as a marker in the
first group of the third round. Seventy-three players made the cut, so Paul
Waring would be going out on his own Saturday and was happy to have some
McNeill, who was Irish Amateur champion in 1991, hit a few balls on the range
in the morning and felt good. He took a swing on the first tee, with thousands
watching him, and he said his club "felt like a feather."
It got much better for McNeill, who made a long putt across the green at No. 17
for his highlight of the day.
McNeill says "I'm really glad I put myself through it. But I need to lie down
Graeme McDowell didn't go quite as low as he wanted to get back in the mix at
the British Open, but the Portrush native moved in the right direction.
McDowell hit his approach to 2 feet on the 18th for his fifth birdie in a round
of 3-under 68.
That put him at 2-under 211 for the championship. The co-leaders, Shane Lowry
and J.B. Holmes, were still nearly two hours away from teeing off on a bright,
windy day on the North Atlantic. McDowell grew up on these links as a member of
Rathmore Golf Club.
Of the five players to finish the third round, McDowell was the only one to
Xander Schauffele is happy to be only five shots behind going into the third
round of the British Open. He's just not happy with what he sees as inequity
over testing that caused him to get a new driver before the opening round.
Schauffele says his Callaway driver narrowly failed a test for the limits of
the trampoline effect when the driver strikes the ball. Schauffele says he had
to spend practice time trying to find a new driver, and only when he made more
adjustments Friday morning did he feel comfortable. He opened with a 74 and
followed that with a 65.
Schauffele says he wasn't bothered that his driver didn't pass the test and he
was happy to find one within the legal limits. He says he had issues with how
the R&A only randomly selected 30 players for testing. Schauffele says it would
be just as easy to test the entire field.
Royal Portrush had all of Saturday morning to recover from the reality that
Rory McIlroy is no longer part of this British Open.
In a second round so packed with emotion that it felt like Sunday, McIlroy
nearly recovered from his opening 79 by coming up one birdie short of making it
to the weekend. McIlroy, one of three players from Northern Ireland celebrating
the return of the Open after a 68-year absence, says he has never felt such
And now for the rest of the show.
Shane Lowry of Ireland and J.B. Holmes were tied for the lead at 8-under 134,
one shot ahead of Lee Westwood and Tommy Fleetwood. Among those within three
shots of the lead were Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth.
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