Fox, Pavon, Van Rooyen share Irish Open lead


Last year's victor Jon Rahm produced some familiar brilliance in round four of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin GC, ending a 6-under-par 34-32=66 with four closing birdies to finish at 12-under 276 for the week, good enough for T4 and two back from the play-off number set by Russell Knox and Ryan Fox. "We saw that in the last tournament against Iceland but they are as good players as any, they believe in their coach and their system and should stick to it if they can".

The three-time major victor recovered from a double bogey on the 13th, caused by a lost ball off the tee, with birdies on the 16th and 17th, only to also double-bogey the last in a back nine of 40. I could take my tee-to-green game straight to the Open in a couple weeks' time and be happy where that is.

"The more I can be just a little bit open with my lower body, I can see it a little bit better". Van Rooyen began the third round in a three-way tie for the lead, but stormed to the turn in just 29 shots on his way to a superb 6-under-par 66 to finish 14 under.

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Lee Westwood, who will be one of Bjorn's vice-captains in Paris in September, is a shot further back on five under, while tournament host Rory McIlroy is seven off the pace after a disappointing 73.

New Zealand's Fox, son of All Blacks World Cup-winning flyhalf Grant, sank three birdies on the back nine to card a three-under-par 69 and take the clubhouse lead at eight under. "I just wish I could have birdied the two par fives".

"I wasn't very much aware of my score or the situation. Simple as that. If I had 100 putts every week I played and hit the ball halfway decent, I'd win every week". "I'm really disappointed. What can you do?"