The Open 2023: third round updates – live | The Open

Key events

Jon Rahm, in the zone, cares not one jot for the OB down the right of 18. He absolutely larrups his drive down the middle. Meanwhile it’s another gettable birdie chance missed McIlroy; he’s now 50-50 for conversion, and growls in frustration as he tidies up for par. His tee to green play has been exemplary so far; he could so easily have started with four straight birdies. He arguably should have, because the putts he’s missed were makeable. Are we holding Rory to unreasonably high standards? Possibly. Probably. Though you suspect he’s doing that himself. He’s -3.

Rory McIlroy plays another hole perfectly from tee to green. He makes the putt this time, at 3, and joins the group at -3. The crowd respond accordingly. Roar! They also respond as you’d expect at 17: a sigh of disappointment as Jon Rahm leaves his 15-foot birdie putt short on the low side. He tidies up for his par and moves onto the last, where a birdie would give him a 63.

Jon Rahm is on one! He drains a tramliner across 16, and that’s six birdies in the last eight holes! Should he par the last two holes, he’ll be signing for a 64, which would be a new Open record at Hoylake, beating the 65 jointly held by Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Chris DiMarco, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Marc Leishman, Shane Lowry and Chris Wood. A reminder that the Open record is 62, set by Branden Grace at Birkdale in 2017, and that’s also the major-championship record, which was equalled by Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele at this year’s US Open. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. God speed, Rahmbo.

Spain's Jon Rahm reacts.
Spain’s Jon Rahm reacts. Photograph: Jon Super/AP

You can never quite trust Rory McIlroy’s putter. He plays the 2nd almost as perfectly as he did the 1st, but can’t make the very gettable birdie putt. He remains at -2. But there’s another birdie for Jon Rahm, this time at 15. Meanwhile last year’s runner-up Cameron Young trundles in an unexpected putt from distance on the opening hole to immediately climb the standings. Moving Day is beginning to heat up all right!

-10: Harman
-5: Fleetwood
-4: Rahm (15), N Hojgaard (5), Straka
-3: Kim (7), Bland (6), Rozner (5), Young (1), Lee, Sharma, Day

Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard are identical twins. They haven’t been scoring identically this week, however. Rasmus shot an opening round of 78 and missed the cut as a result, but his brother is going along very nicely indeed. Nicolai has been improving slowly and steadily – 71, then 70 – until now, when the 22-year-old Dane has burst into action with birdies at 1, 3 and 5. He’s -4. Incidentally, the official Open player guide lists Nicolai’s birthday as March 1, and Rasmus’s as March 12. It’s either the sort of misprint the Guardian would be proud of, or it’s hats off to mum for putting in quite literally the mother of all shifts. I hope the midwife got x2 overtime.

Matt Fitzpatrick was going around with the reigning champ Cameron Smith. The genial Aussie also ended with a birdie, and signed for a round of 68. He’s -1 going into the final round.

A strong end to Matt Fitzpatrick’s round. Four birdies in the last five holes, a run only compromised by bogey at 16. He ends with a 67 at -2 overall, and with his brother Alex currently at -1 (having just bogeyed 11), it’s still possible that the pair could go round tomorrow. For that to happen, Alex will have to be the next player to complete his round at -2. Be nice, no?

Opening birdie for Rory McIlroy! He wedges his second pin high, and rolls in the 12-footer that remains. Fuss-free. Textbook. If he can keep that going, huh. He’s -2. Meanwhile the ever-entertaining Tom Kim provides some excitement of his own, by rolling of a hat-trick of birdies at 4, 5 and 6. He’s up to -3 in short order.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 1st hole.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 1st hole. Photograph: Jared C Tilton/Getty Images

A par up the last for Xander Schauffele. A 68 and the 2018 joint runner-up ends Moving Day at -1 overall. Meanwhile back-to-back birdies for English veteran Richard Bland, who you may recall making waves at the 2021 US Open, breaking records by leading after 36 holes as a 48-year-old. He’s -3.

Here’s Rory! The 2014 champion walks to the first tee with the pleading of a young fan ringing in his ears. Aw! It’s beyond sweet. The little lad so wants his hero to do well today. But hey, don’t we all? The course is sitting there begging to be attacked, a birdie blitz waiting to happen, at least until the rain forecast for later this afternoon hits the Wirral. A quick wiggle of the shoulders before he belts one down the track. He’s going round with Max Homa who splits the fairway as well.

Alex Fitzpatrick walks in another birdie, this time at 10. Players are putting with increased confidence bordering on sass on these slightly slower greens. Attacking the pins is also the order of the day. Corey Conners wedges close on 12 from 115 yards and that’s another birdie for the Canadian, too. Both move to -2. There’s a score out here today.

Rahm’s run of birdies comes to an end at the par-three 13th. His tee shot doesn’t quite hold the green and topples over the back, but only just, and he’s able to pull putter and lag up to kick-in distance. He consolidates his birdie blitz with par, remaining at -3 and demonstrating what can be done to the entire chasing pack.

The young South African amateur Christo Lamprecht copped the cold wet fish of golfing reality full in the coupon yesterday. A 79 to follow up the astonishing opening round of 66 that gave him a share of the 18-hole lead. He only just squeaked under the cutline, but that’s the least he deserved after providing so many thrills on Thursday. He’s already more than earned the Silver Medal for low amateur guaranteed to be his providing he completes all 72 holes, as no other amateur has made the cut. He’s carded a 76 today, a slight disappointment given he was one over for his round through 13, going on to double-bogey 14 and 18, the latter the result of sending his second shot OB. But it’s easily done. He’s far from the first to run up a number on 18, and he most definitely won’t be the last. He’s +8.

… but the hottest property on the course right now is the Masters champion Jon Rahm. He’s just carded four birdies in a row around the turn, at 9, 10, 11 and 12. Throw in the one he made at the 5th, and that’s five under for his round. He’s catapulted himself up the standings into a tie for fourth, and so what better time to update the old leaderboard?

-10: Harman
-5: Fleetwood
-4: Straka
-3: Rahm (12), Lee, Sharma, Day
-2: Rozner (1), Hojgaard (1), Otaegui, Grillo, Spieth, Young
-1: Fowler (F), Cantlay (F), Schauffele (16), Smith (15), M Fitzpatrick (15), Conners (11), A Fitzpatrick (9), Matsuyama (4), Bland (2), Southgate, Lawrence, McIlroy, Homa, Migliozzi, Stewart, Jordan, Cink, Stenson, Clark

There are other big names still out there scoring well. Defending champion Cameron Smith, 2022 US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick, and regular major-championship nearly-man Xander Schauffele are all currently three under for their rounds through 15 holes, and -1 overall for the tournament. Nice and neat. Fitzpatrick’s younger brother Alex is also three under for his round having just hit the turn; he’s -1 overall on his major-championship debut. Corey Conners is yet another player three under for the day at -1; he’s through 11 holes. It’s a popular place to be.

It’s a dreich day on the Wirral. Damp, cloudy and occasionally rainy … but far from miserable because conditions are not bad at all for scoring. Hoylake is playing a little longer as a result of earlier rain, but the greens are slightly tamer, so it’s swings and roundabouts. The earliest beneficiaries? Rickie Fowler and Patrick Cantlay, both round in 67, both currently the joint clubhouse leaders at -1.

Preamble

Welcome to Moving Day at the 151st Open Championship! After 36 holes, the top of the leaderboard looked like this …

-10: Harman
-5: Fleetwood
-4: Straka
-3: Lee, Sharma, Day
-2: Otaegui, Grillo, Spieth, Young
-1: Southgate, Lawrence, McIlroy, Homa, Migliozzi, Stewart, Jordan, Cink, Stenson, Clark, Hojgaard, Rozner, Bland

… while these (selected) big names missed the cut …

Collin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley, Sahith Theegala, Joaquin Niemann, Francesco Molinari, Tony Finau, Justin Rose, Sam Burns, Charl Schwartzel, Shane Lowry, Kim Si-woo, Darren Clarke, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson

… and that left us with a tee sheet that looked like this (all times BST, GB&I unless stated). It’s on! Hoylake ahoy!

08.55 Rickie Fowler (USA), Robert MacIntyre
09.05 Scottie Scheffler (USA), Adam Scott (Aus)
09.15 Patrick Cantlay (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA)
09.25 Padraig Harrington, Scott Stallings (USA)
09.35 Christo Lamprecht -a- (Rsa), Andrew Putnam (USA)
09.45 Ryan Fox (Nzl), Victor Perez (Fra)
10.00 Richie Ramsay, David Lingmerth (Swe)
10.10 Sami Valimaki (Fin), Danny Willett
10.20 Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Xander Schauffele (USA)
10.30 Matthew Fitzpatrick, Cameron Smith (Aus)
10.40 Kurt Kitayama (USA), JT Poston (USA)
10.50 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Patrick Reed (USA)
11.00 Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn), Hurly Long (Ger)
11.15 Tyrrell Hatton, Brandon Thompson
11.25 Sung-Jae Im (Kor), Jon Rahm (Spa)
11.35 Corey Conners (Can), Zach Johnson (USA)
11.45 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), Gary Woodland (USA)
11.55 Romain Langasque (Fra), Brendon Todd (USA)
12.05 Zack Fischer (USA), Alex Fitzpatrick
12.15 Joost Luiten (Ned), Jordan Smith
12.30 Adrian Meronk (Pol), Thomas Pieters (Bel)
12.40 Oliver Wilson, Byeong-Hun An (Kor)
12.50 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Thomas Detry (Bel)
13.00 Alexander Noren (Swe), Marcel Siem (Ger)
13.10 Viktor Hovland (Nor), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn)
13.20 Alexander Bjoerk (Swe), Joo-Hyung Kim (Kor)
13.30 Richard Bland, Laurie Canter
13.45 Antoine Rozner (Fra), Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den)
13.55 Wyndham Clark (USA), Henrik Stenson (Swe)
14.05 Stewart Cink (USA), Matthew Jordan
14.15 Guido Migliozzi (Ita), Michael Stewart
14.25 Max Homa (USA), Rory McIlroy
14.35 Thriston Lawrence (Rsa), Matthew Southgate
14.45 Jordan Spieth (USA), Cameron Young (USA)
15.00 Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Adrian Otaegui (Spa)
15.10 Jason Day (Aus), Shubhankar Sharma (Ind)
15.20 Min-Woo Lee (Aus), Sepp Straka (Aut)
15.30 Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman (USA)