MX23RW : Saturday, September 19 05:54:09| >> :600:36772431:36772431:

Defending Open champion Molinari signs off in style at Portrush

Defending Open champion Molinari signs off in style at Portrush
© Reuters
The Italian's bogey-free round included an eagle on the 12th.

Francesco Molinari signed off his year as Open champion in style with a bogey-free five-under round of 66 at Royal Portrush.

The Italian began the day too far back to make an impact on the leaderboard but a bogey-free round, the highlight of which was his eagle at the par-five 12th , lifted him into the top 25 at three under.

With the weather set to deteriorate there was every chance that position could improve.

England's Tyrrell Hatton moved into the top 20 on five under with a couple of early birdies with compatriot Tom Lewis one behind after three birdies in four holes immediately before the turn.

But these players knew they were competing for the minor placings as even though American Justin Thomas moved to seven under after three successive birdies from the third he was still nine shots behind leader Shane Lowry.

The Irishman and final-round playing partner Tommy Fleetwood, off at 1.47pm, were both chasing their first major.

But Lowry was the clear favourite courtesy of a third-round course-record 63 which gave him a four-shot cushion over his English rival.

Lying in wait should the top two falter were JB Holmes, on 10 under, and world number one Brooks Koepka, winner in four of his last nine majors, and former US Open champion Justin Rose a shot further adrift.


Click here for more stories about Francesco Molinari

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Shane Lowry pictured on July 19, 2019
Read Next:
The Open day four: Leader Lowry bids to secure first major
Latest Sports Video

rhs 2.0
Premier League
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Welsh Premier League
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Ligue 2
Eerste Divisie
Major League Soccer
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
J1 League
European Champions Cup
European Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!