Donegal Golf - DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH OPEN

South African Van Rooyen leads in Open in Ballyliffin as Irish challenge fades in Donegal

Peter Campbell

Reporter:

Peter Campbell

South African Van Rooyen leads in Open in Ballyliffin as Irish challenge fades in Donegal

Rory McIlroy pictured during his third round Photo Geraldine Diver

A South African, Erik Van Rooyen, has taken charge of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club.
On moving day, Van Rooyen recorded a 66 to go alongside the 65 he hit on Friday to take afour stroke lead at the top, finishing the day on -14.
While the South African was showing top form, with no bogeys on his card, the Irish challengers fell by the wayside. None of them broke par, which was very disappointing as conditions were perfect. There was little wind and although there were were a couple of short showers, rarely would you get better conditions on this beautiful links.
Rory McIlroy could only manage a par round and leads the Irish challenge on -1, some 13 shots adrift. Shane Lowry couldn't get anything going and finished on level par after a round of 74.
There were scores to be made as Andy Sullivan shot a 65 early in the morning, while the defending champion Jon Rahm got back into contention with a 67 to get to -6.
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.
Former Masters champion Danny Willett was a shot further back after recovering from a poor start with five birdies in seven holes from the 11th, with Scotland's Russell Knox six off the lead on eight under.