PORTRUSH: Leaders Shane Lowry and J.B. Holmes teed off for the 3rd round of the British Open on Saturday with the pressure already being applied by the chasing pack on a glorious day at Royal Portrush.
In contrast to the wind and rain of the first two days that saw Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy fail to even make the cut, sunny conditions made for a low scoring morning.
Xander Schauffele, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett and Park Sang-hyun made the most of their opportunity to climb through the field to six-under and were joined by world No.1 Brooks Koepka as he picked up a shot at the second.
Major winners Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth also made early birdies to move to seven-under, whilst Tommy Fleetwood’s birdie at the first brought him level with Lowry and Holmes at eight-under.
Separately, American Kyle Stanley said he had not apologized for a “non-issue” after his playing partner Robert MacIntire complained he had not shouted “fore” before his ball hit the mother of the Scot’s caddie.
The incident on the 17th hole in Friday’s second round saw Stanley send his tee shot into the gallery, with it hitting the spectator on the hand.
MacIntire had said he told Stanley he “wasn’t happy” and that his rival “didn’t take it well at all” when confronted over not letting the crowd know the ball was heading in their direction.
“My two playing partners, my caddie, a couple of the volunteers or the marshals, even had them signalling it was going right,” Stanley said after his 3rd-round 73 on Saturday.
“I mean, everyone to the right of that ball, they knew it was coming.
“So to me it’s kind of a non-issue. I’m not really sure why he decided to make such an issue about it. I know it hit his caddie’s mom’s hands off the bounce, and that’s unfortunate.”
World No. 57 Stanley appeared bemused by the situation, saying he had never been involved in something like it before.
He hit out at MacIntyre’s inexperience, with the 22-year-old playing in his maiden major at Royal Portrush.