Shane Lowry shoots course record 63 to lead The Open by four shots

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He shook his head as the sounds of Ole Ole Ole rung out from the gallery. Shane Lowry called it “the most incredible day of his life”  It sounded like a Ryder Cup celebration, and it was only Saturday. He said his mind was still fuzzy with it all but he had had the rare experience of feeling comfortable all day and was feeding off the energy of the Irish in his gallery. He had felt completely in control of his game, he said. He certainly played aggressive golf, taking driver off the tee more times than most. But it was his iron play and his wonderful dextrous short game around the greens which was most impressive. He has such feel and creativity and releases the clubhead through the ball so well. He likes to vary his shots too, high, low, left, right. It was a very confident performance.

Lowry holds a four shot lead at -16 over Tommy Fleetwood at -12, JB Holmes at -10, Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka are behind. Torrential rain is forecast for the final round with an early start planned, but Lowry is a good bad weather player. Apart from the conditions, the expectations of the home crowd for an Irish winner there are a couple of other things to contend with. He’s occasionally lost focus this week, particularly on Thursday on the back nine when he overheard a Tv commentator analysing his swing while he was on the tee about to hit his shot. He seemed a little zoned out during the final holes of the first round.

And then there’s the memory of Oakmont. During the 2016 US Open he held another 4 shot lead going into the final round, and did not win. He says he will “deal with it better this time”.

He gave everyone a magical Saturday and he says whatever happens tomorrow he might never experience anything like the support of this crowd again so he intends to enjoy every minute. In his post round interview he told the press he would be going back to the house to watch Love Island, supporting the Irishman in there.

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