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Three groupings to watch in British Open third round

By AFP
media Ireland's Shane Lowry is last to tee off on Saturday alongside co-leader J.B. Holmes AFP

Leaders Shane Lowry and J.B. Holmes will have to fend off a charge from a host of big names and major champions on moving day at the third round of the British Open.

Here, AFP Sport takes a look at three groupings to watch on Saturday at Royal Portrush (all times GMT):

1420: Brooks Koepka (USA) -5, Justin Rose (ENG) -6

World number one Koepka has not missed out on the top two at each of the three majors so far this season and believes he should already be in front based on his play from tee to green.

The American blamed his putter for not already being 10-under, but is still well-placed to make his move for a fifth major title.

Rose has just one major to his name, but just missed out on the Open last year with a late charge to finish second and was in fine form with a round of four-under on Friday.

1440: Tommy Fleetwood -7 (ENG), Lee Westwood -7 (Eng)

Even in front of an Irish crowd, the English duo will not want for support with the flamboyant Fleetwood a fan favourite following his star role at the Ryder Cup last year.

Westwood is golf's nearly man having finished in the top three at majors nine times without ever winning one.

Now 46, the former world number one appears to have accepted that fate will decide if he is to ever be a major champion.

"If it's going to happen, it's going to happen, and if it doesn't, it doesn't," said Westwood. "Just go home and have dinner, go on holiday the next week. Do the same things, life won't change."

1450: Shane Lowry -8 (IRL), J.B. Holmes (USA) -8

The last men out have no major winning experience between them and how they handle the nerves and focus of attention will be vital with a stellar cast chasing them down.

Lowry admitted he had already felt the tension as he dropped a shot on the last of his second round to fall back level with Holmes on eight under.

However, the Irishman revelled as he rode a wave of support early in his round and believes more of the same can inspire him to forget the demons of blowing a 54-hole lead at the US Open in 2016.

 
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