Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

SA's Van Rooyen leads by 4 at Irish Open

SA's Van Rooyen leads by 4 at Irish Open

"I hit the ball pretty well, a couple of loose shots here and there, and holed a couple of putts out there I guess".

"As good a start as I can have, really, and hopefully three more rounds and if I can sneak in that top five like previous year and get an Open spot, that would be great".

Rory McIlroy was one of the few big names to impress at the Irish Open as Ryan Fox ended the first round with a one-shot lead in his bid to play his way into The Open for the second successive year. "It's just a matter of being a little more efficient and taking my opportunities when I give myself them, be just a little more efficient with my scoring".

The chasing players to the leader are New Zealander Ryan Fox and Sweden's Joakim Lagergren, who both had held the lead with Van Rooyen overnight.

But the third round belonged to one man and one man only, with Van Rooyen now set to take that four shot lead into final round as the 28-year-old chases his maiden European Tour victory in just his 34th appearance.

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Former Masters champion Danny Willett (69) was five shots off the pace after recovering from a poor start with the aid of four birdies in a row on the back nine, and Lee Westwood was seven behind after a 70. Scotland's Russell Knox is a shot further back on eight under.

"It wasn't different on the back nine".

"I'd love to be in the Open and Carnoustie is one of the best golf courses in the world I think and I'd love the chance to play there in an Open.

It's going to be very condition-dependent again but if we get a day like this, I'll be doing what I did: Hit driver everywhere and try to hit wedges in and see if I can hole some putts", said Fox. "I just wish I could have birdied the two par fives".

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