Lowry inches ahead as Open battle heats up at Portrush

Shane Lowry inched ahead midway through round way three of The Open, but J.B. Holmes, Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood were all battling away towards the top of the leaderboard.

Irishman Lowry, co-leading with Holmes overnight at Royal Portrush, birdied the ninth and went out in three under to reach 11 under for the tournament.

Westwood made a trio of birdies from the second to the fourth to reach 10 under, a score matched by Fleetwood who picked up shots at the first, fifth and seventh.

Holmes had a birdie opportunity at the ninth, but failed to take advantage and was also one back of Lowry.

The excellent conditions at Royal Portrush were making for a fascinating day of scoring, with Rickie Fowler’s five-under-par 66 allowing him to set the clubhouse target at eight under.

Danny Willett carded a majestic 65, his lowest round in major golf, to get back home at seven under for the tournament.

Brooks Koepka, Dylan Frittelli and Justin Harding were all at seven under and still out on the course.