Hoylake, 22 July 2023: It was one of those days in a major where the subplot is deeper than the main act. Jon Rahm filled in for the missing weather, thundering through an insipid day at Hoylake with a memorable eight under 63. There was neither rain nor wind on Sunday, offering the best conditions possible, on a day that was supposed to be the worst. Shubhankar Sharma was rock solid, playing a steady hand, nearly oblivious to the stage or the setting. At five-under, he is in T9 after the third round. Brian Harman was unfazed despite conceding two shots early in the third round. He produced a measured 69 to maintain his five-stroke advantage from Friday.
But Rahm owned the day for making a remarkable recovery with a spotless round that gave him an eight shot ladder, right into contention for potentially a third major of his blooming career.
“Today was one of those days where I felt invincible, I’ve been very comfortable from the tee, so it’s easier to stay aggressive,” explained Rahm. “I would highlight the putt on 8, which was key. In those 20 minutes between the par on 8 and the birdie on 10 everything changed.”
Shubhankar Sharma played yet another steady round of golf, infused with discipline under demanding links conditions. It contained an eagle at the fifth and his first bogey in 26 holes, at the 16th hole. He reaches Sunday at 4-under, eight behind the leader.
“I am very happy again with my round. Obviously, a few more birdies would have been nice,” said Shubhankar. “But I will take this. Tomorrow is a new day, I will stick to my process and keep it simple. I do not want to overdo anything, try and play my game and see where I land at the end of it all.”
Cameron Young produced a commanding moving day performance, posting a fine 66 to work his way into second place. He was one ahead of Rahm at 7-under. It was a terrific round containing four birdies on the front nine and two more on the return stretch to give him an outside chance at glory along with Rahm.
There were five men glued together at 5-under in T4. Among them, Tommy Fleetwood, the home favourite alongside club member Matthew Jordan. Fleetwood remained even for the second straight day to keep his score at the same 5-under that gave him a share of the lead on the opening day.
Viktor Hovland matched Young with a 66 that helped him move to the upper floors after making 70 and 72 in the first two rounds.
Antoine Rozner, the man from France, impressed with a polished 67. Sepp Straka turned in a steady 70 to put himself in the mix. Jason Day was playing with Shubhankar and produced another short game classic for a 69 to get to 5-under 208.
Alex Fitzpatrick, the younger brother of Matt Fitzpatrick shot a brilliant 65, second only Rahm on the day, to force his way inside the top ten. He is hanging out with Shubhankar at 4-under. The duo will play together in the final round at