PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — The cheers grew louder and Shane Lowry kept getting better Saturday in the British Open.
He made two straight birdies around the turn at Royal Portrush to break out of a four-way tie for the lead. The Irishman made three straight birdies toward the end of the third round, each shot better than the previous one. He walked off the Dunluce Links with an 8-under 63, the 54-hole record at the British Open and a four-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood.
The first British Open in Northern Ireland since 1951 no longer has favorite son Rory McIlroy. Lowry filled the void just fine.
He did not mind the lack of attention showered on the trio of Ulstermen — McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke — at the start of the week as Northern Ireland celebrated the return of golf’s oldest championship.
“The guys are from here. I grew up four hours away,” Lowry said. “I felt like I could come here and come under the radar. I’m not quite under the radar anymore. I didn’t feel like a forgotten Irishman. But hopefully, I’m the one they’re talking about tomorrow evening.”
He was at 16-under 197, breaking by one the 54-hole record held by Tom Lehman at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 1996.
Fleetwood did his part with a bogey-free 66, and he lost ground. He at least got into the final group as he goes for his first major.
J.B. Holmes, who started the third round tied with Lowry atop the leaderboard, tried to stay with him until he dropped two straight shots in the middle of the back nine. A birdie on the 18th gave him a 69, leaving him six back.
Justin Rose had a 68 and joined Koepka at 9-under 204.
Clanton and Suwannapura win easily at Great Lakes: MIDLAND, Mich. — Cydney Clanton and Jasmine Suwannapura ran away with the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, shooting an 11-under 59 in best-ball play for a six-stroke victory. Clanton and Suwannapura took a five-shot lead into the final round after shooting an alternate-shot 63 on Friday at Midland Country Club in the LPGA Tour’s first-year team event. They finished at 27-under 253. Suwannapura won her second tour title, and Clanton her first.
Herman benefits from president’s putting advice: NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. — Helped by President Donald Trump’s putting advice, Jim Herman had two eagles in a 10-under 62 to maintain a one-stroke lead in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship. Herman changed to a conventional putting grip and clubhead at the president’s suggestion.
Summerhays claims U.S. Junior Amateur Championship: TOLEDO, Ohio — Preston Summerhays won the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, beating Bo Jin of China 2 and 1 in the 36-hole final at Inverness Club. “I don’t even know how to explain how it felt,” Summerhays said. “It’s just one of my goals being accomplished.” Summerhays, the 16-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, who spends his summers in his native Utah, ended it with an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th, a dog-leg left that he also birdied in the morning with a 35-footer after purposely driving down the adjacent 16th fairway.