European Tour

Rock shoots course-record 60 to take Irish Open lead

2019-07-06 16:00
Robert Rock (Getty Images)

London - England's Robert Rock carded a course record round of 60 on Saturday to grab a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Irish Open at Lahinch.

Rock needed to eagle the par-five 18th hole to shoot the second 59 in European Tour history.

But he narrowly missed from 30 feet, instead settling for his sixth successive birdie.

His round eclipsed the course record of 63 established by Padraig Harrington in the first round on Thursday.

At 13 under par, Rock, who lost in a playoff to Shane Lowry in the Irish Open in 2009 but took home the first prize as his opponent was still an amateur, holds a one-stroke lead over fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell and Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Overnight leader Zander Lombard is another shot back after recovering from four-putting the fourth to card a 68.

"It was a fun day. The finish was a bit much really," Rock said.

"I holed a really long putt on 17 and it was only when I was walking to the second shot on 18 and checked the par (of the course) that I realised it was an eagle for 59.

"It's disappointing not to make it but 60 is a great score and I've played rubbish so far this season so it's nice to play better."

Rock's last European Tour title came in 2012, when he held off final-day challenges from the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The 42-year-old combines playing with coaching and counts Race to Dubai leader Matt Wallace among his clients.

"I think it's made me realise what type of golfer I am," Rock added. 

"Maybe I'm not as good as Matt Wallace, that's pretty obvious, but I've learnt some things from him as to how he's a really tough competitor and he's desperate to win things."

Leading scores from the third round of the European Tour's Irish Open at Lahinch on Saturday (par 70, GBR & IRL unless stated):

197 - Robert Rock 67, 70, 60

198 - Eddie Pepperell 65, 67, 66; Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 68, 67, 63

199 - Zander Lombard (RSA) 64, 67, 68

200 - Andy Sullivan 68, 66, 66; Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 69, 66, 65

201 - Cormac Sharvin 66, 69, 66; Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 65, 70, 66

202 - Paul Waring 67, 68, 67; Oliver Wilson 66, 69, 67; Jon Rahm (ESP) 67, 71, 64; Jorge Campillo (ESP) 69, 64, 69; Grant Forrest 71, 66, 65

203 - Robin Dawson 68, 71, 64; Niklas Lemke (SWE) 68, 66, 69; Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 65, 69, 69; Brandon Stone (RSA) 67, 67, 69; Wade Ormsby (AUS) 65, 69, 69; George Coetzee (RSA) 70, 67, 66; Gavin Green (MAL) 66, 72, 65; Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 68, 68, 67

204 - Abraham Ancer (MEX) 66, 67, 71; Martin Kaymer (GER) 66, 70, 68; Lee Westwood 66, 67, 71

Read more on:    european tour  |  golf


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