Reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick moved into a one-shot lead from Patrick Cantlay at the RBC Heritage with a bogey-free eight-under 63.

Fitzpatrick surged up the leaderboard on the third day at Harbour Town Golf Links with a hole-out eagle from 149 yards out on the par-four third hole.

The 28-year-old Englishman's 63 was a new career-low score, highlighted by four birdies along with the eagle on his front nine 30.

Fitzpatrick leads at 14 under from Cantlay (13 under) and Jordan Spieth (12 under) who carded five-under 66s on the third day.

Cantlay enjoyed a bogey-free round of five under, managing three birdies in four holes on the back nine, while Spieth bogeyed on the par-three 17th, seeing him drop two strokes off the lead.

Halfway leader Jimmy Walker slipped down the leaderboard with a one-over 72, meaning he is tied for fourth at 11 under with Taylor Moore, Mark Hubbard, Tommy Fleetwood and Scottie Scheffler.

Last week's Masters champion Jon Rahm was unable to build on his second-day 64, despite starting with three straight birdies.

Rahm's run stalled with a double bogey on the fourth, eventually carding a two-under 69 to be back at eight-under overall.

Keegan Bradley had the second-best round of the day behind Fitzpatrick, moving to nine-under overall and joint 16th with a bogey-free seven-under 64.

Last week's Masters champion Jon Rahm shook off his poor opening round and rebounded with Friday's best score, while Jimmy Walker opened up a three-stroke lead at the RBC Heritage.

Rahm had a bit of a hangover following his second major victory, beginning his week at Harbour Town Golf Links with a one-over 72, before showing the field how it was done with a seven-under 64 on his second trip around the course.

He birdied holes two, three, four and five to kick-start a bogey-free round with seven birdies overall, jumping from the wrong side of the cut line to a tie for 18th at six under.

Meanwhile, at the top of the leaderboard it was Jimmy Walker who raced clear of the pack, posting his second 65 in a row to head into the weekend at 12 under.

Walker, 44, is a six-time winner on the PGA Tour, but his last victory came at the 2016 PGA Championship, and he came into this event with only four made cuts from 12 starts this season.

He has his work cut out for him to hold off a star-studded chasing pack, with world number two Scottie Scheffler joined by major champion Justin Rose and world number six Xander Schauffele at nine under.

Fellow top-10 talents Patrick Cantlay and Viktor Hovland are one stroke further back at eight under, where they are joined by English duo Aaron Rai and Tommy Fleetwood in a tie for fifth.

Jordan Spieth is tied for 10th at seven under with a group that includes Rickie Fowler and former RBC Heritage champion Matt Kuchar, and Rahm is joined at six under by reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick.

Young South Korean phenom Tim Kim missed the cut by one stroke, while Max Homa had a week to forget, finishing at three over to miss the cut by five strokes.

Jon Rahm reached the turn on Sunday at the Masters with a two-shot lead as he swept ahead of Brooks Koepka.

Coming into the final round at nine under, two behind Koepka, Rahm birdied the par-four third hole and the par-five eighth to reach 11 under.

Meanwhile, after starting at 11 under, Koepka bogeyed the fourth and sixth to fall to nine under. They then both bogeyed the ninth, leaving Rahm at 10 under, and Koepka at eight under with the back nine to come.

Spain's Rahm, 28, stood potentially just nine holes away from the second major title of his career after also securing the 2021 U.S. Open.

It would also be his fourth win of the year after victories at the Tournament of Champions and The American Express in January, and the Genesis Invitational in February.

Koepka is coming off a win at last week's LIV Golf Orlando, and he was at 13 under when dismal weather brought an early end to Saturday's play, but by Sunday afternoon he looked to have run out of scoring power, with his last birdie coming on the eighth hole of his third round.

Two big names stormed up the leaderboard, with Jordan Spieth shooting a six-under 66 to reach seven under for the tournament and Phil Mickelson going one better with a 65 to get to eight under and set the clubhouse standard, moving level with Koepka.

 

After starting the day in the top 10, Jason Day capitulated with four double bogeys to be eight over for his round through 13 holes.

Brooks Koepka held a three-shot lead halfway through his second round of The Masters and Rory McIlroy is facing a battle to make the cut.

Koepka was joint-top of the leaderboard along with Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland after starting with a seven-under 65 at Augusta National on Thursday.

The four-time major champion had the chance to go out on his own on Friday, with Rahm and Hovland starting later in the day, and he was sitting pretty at 10 under through nine holes.

Koepka arrived in Georgia full of confidence following a victory at LIV Golf Orlando and the American has given himself a great opportunity to win a first Masters title.

He birdied the second hole after an excellent third shot from a green-side bunker and eagled the par-five eighth following a majestic approach shot to move into double figures.

Jason Day surged into a share of second place courtesy of gains at the second and third holes, while a couple of early birdies took Collin Morikawa to five under on a day on which tee times were brought forward by half an hour due to the forecast of inclement weather.

Amateur Sam Bennett was six shots back from Koepka along with Sam Burns, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and Gary Woodland.

McIlroy's hopes of completing a career Grand Slam this weekend look to be over as he was back on two over through three holes following bogeys at the second and third holes.

Defending champion and world number one Scottie Scheffler dropped back to three under.

Rory McIlroy was frustrated by an "untidy" opening round to the Masters but is hopeful his chances of landing the title for the first time are not over just yet.

The world number two, whose best finish at the tournament was as runner-up last year, is left playing catch up after an even-par 72 on day one at Augusta National.

McIlroy carded five birdies, but he double-bogeyed the seventh and dropped shots at three further holes to leave himself in a tie for 37th.

Despite being seven shots behind overnight leaders Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland, McIlroy is focused on dragging himself into contention on Friday.

"It felt like a bit of a scramble all day, to be honest," he told Sky Sports when reflecting on his first round.

"I missed a couple of tee shots left and paid the price for that on seven and 17. I was just a little bit untidy in some other areas as well.

"I made enough birdies – it's just about keeping mistakes off the card. I salvaged an even-par round and there's still 54 holes of golf left – a lot of things can happen.

"I didn't feel like I was too far away today. I'm probably two or three shots behind how I'd like to be, but nothing that's insurmountable.

"I've got a quick turnaround overnight, and I'm looking forward to getting back on the course pretty quickly and obviously trying to get myself back in the thick of things.

"Hopefully we get some decent conditions in the morning and I can shoot something in the mid-60s and get myself back in the tournament."

Reigning champion and world number one Scottie Scheffler carded a four-under 68 on Thursday and is three shots off the lead.

Scheffler, who made an eagle on the second hole and dropped just one shot, did not feel any additional pressure entering the opening major of the year as defending champion.

"I didn't think about it really at all today," he said. "The only reason I would think of being the defending champion is because I was playing with [amateur] Sam Bennett.

"Just because I'm defending doesn't mean I start under par. Starting at even, it was just about going out there and getting settled into the round, which I did a good job of.

"I got a lot of looks early, made some nice par putts there on six and seven, but didn't see much go in the rest of the day. But four under is a solid start to the week."

Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland are tied for lead at seven under after Thursday's opening round at the Masters.

It was a shaky start for world number three Rahm as he stumbled to a double-bogey on the first hole, but he birdied the next two to quickly even out his card, before rattling off another five birdies and an eagle the rest of the way.

Koepka, a four-time major champion, is riding high after emerging victorious in last week's LIV Golf Orlando to become the breakaway tour's first ever two-time winner, and he looked terrific with eight birdies and one bogey.

Hovland was the only of the trio to go bogey-free, with the 25-year-old Norwegian now in a great position to make a run at his first major title.

They have a two-stroke lead on the chasing pack, with Australia's former world number one Jason Day shooting a bogey-free, five-under 67, and he is joined in a tie for fourth by Cameron Young.

Tiger Woods carded back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th holes to salvage a disappointing two-over 74, leaving him with work to do on Friday if he is to make the cut.

World number one Scottie Scheffler is part of a loaded logjam tied for sixth at four under, which also includes world number seven Xander Schauffele, former Masters champion Adam Scott, WGC Match Play winner Sam Burns, and surprising rookie Sam Bennett.

Three-time major champion Jordan Spieth is at three under with two-time major champion Collin Morikawa, reigning British Open champion Cameron Smith is at two under with reigning PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas, and Phil Mickelson is joined at one under by fellow Masters champions Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson.

Shot of the day

While Bennett's eagle chip-in, or Rahm's long iron setting up a five-foot eagle putt were worthy contenders, neither had the degree of difficulty of Hovland's par save on the 10th hole.

Landing in a horrible spot in the rough behind a bunker, with almost no green to work with, Hovland played a feathery flop into the fringe and allowed it to trickle next to the hole for an unlikely par.

A little birdie told me… 

It was a memorable day for Bennett, as the 23-year-old amateur began his first round at the Masters with a birdie on the first, an eagle on the second and another birdie on the sixth to tie the best front-nine score by an amateur at Augusta (32).

Meanwhile, after his best major finish last season with a T4 at The Open, Hovland tied his best round at a major, and set a new personal best around Augusta with his seven-under 65.

Joining him at the top of the leaderboard, Rahm will be trying to make history as the first player to ever win the Masters after double-bogeying their opening hole.

Jon Rahm birdied the last hole of his first round to join Viktor Hovland in a share of the Masters lead.

Hovland held a three-shot advantage at one stage as he started the first major of the year with a magnificent seven-under 65 on Thursday.

Rahm matched the Norwegian's round to become the co-leader at Augusta National after starting with a double bogey.

The 2021 U.S. Open champion eagled the par-five eighth to go three under and fire a warning to the rest of the field.

Rahm birdied the 13th, 15th and 16th before rolling in a short putt for another gain at 18 following a brilliant approach shot.

Hovland had earlier signed for his lowest Masters round and his joint-best in a major, ending his day without a solitary bogey in great conditions.

Cameron Young and Brooks Koepka are just two shots behind the leading duo, with fellow American Sam Burns also five under through only eight holes.

Jordan Spieth, Shane Lowry, Xander Schauffele, Adam Scott, Joaquin Niemann and Sam Bennett are well poised on four under.

Bennett matched the record for the best front nine by an amateur in the Masters, hitting the turn in 32.

Defending champion Scottie Scheffler was two under approaching the turn, while Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are one over and two over respectively in Georgia.

Will Zalatoris withdrew from the prestigious event due to injury.

Sam Burns wiped the floor with Cameron Young to win the WGC Match Play final 6-5 on Sunday for his fifth PGA Tour victory.

Burns, who has all five of his wins since May 2021, first had to navigate his semi-final match-up against world number one and defending champion Scottie Scheffler, who was trying to become the first player to ever reach the final of this event in three straight seasons.

It looked like Burns' day from the jump as he flew out to a 3up lead through three holes, but Scheffler came roaring back by winning the fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th to carry a 2up lead of his own into the back-nine.

The seesawing contest saw Burns take the 13th and 15th to tie it up, and he pulled ahead with a birdie on 17, before Scheffler responded with a birdie on 18 to take it to extra holes.

Both players birdied the first extra hole and both banked pars on the second, before Burns punched his ticket to the final with a birdie on the third sudden-death hole.

The bracket was set up for Scheffler and Rory McIlroy to meet, and they did, but only for the third-place play-off after McIlroy also fell in a sudden-death loss to Young.

Young needed to win the 18th hole to tie things up, and he did so with a birdie, which he followed with a birdie on the extra hole to advance.

Burns made sure the final was far less competitive, dropping eight birdies over the course of 10 holes to race away to a dominant victory.

In the third-place playoff, McIlroy took the lead on the first hole and maintained the advantage throughout, and when Scheffler birdied the 12th to try and tie things up, McIlroy responded with an eagle to instead go 2up and take the 2-1 win.

Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy are one win away from meeting in the WGC Match Play final after both advancing into the last four on Saturday.

In the first of four elimination rounds among the 16 group winners, Scheffler was matched up with J.T. Poston, and after trailing throughout the back-nine he won both the 17th and 18th to sneak by with a 1up victory.

He would meet the in-form Jason Day for a spot in the semi-finals after Day took a 1up win over Matt Kuchar, and after Day went 3up on the front-nine, Scheffler won five of the next eight holes to secure a 2 and 1 win.

Meanwhile, McIlroy started his day with a 2up triumph over Lucas Herbert, leading all the way, and he followed it with a hard-fought 1up win against Xander Schauffele, where he did not take his first lead until the final hole.

Scheffler will meet Sam Burns in the final four after Burns upset Patrick Cantlay 2 and 1, and then proved too good for Mackenzie Hughes in a 3 and 2 result.

McIlroy will have to navigate the challenge of Cameron Young to reach the final after his dominant 5 and 4 win over 2021 champion Billy Horschel, following it up with a 1up result against recent Arnold Palmer Invitational champion Kurt Kitayama.

With one more win Scheffler can become the first player in the history of the event – dating back to 1999 – to reach the final in three consecutive seasons, after winning in 2022 and finishing runner-up in 2021.

Jon Rahm was the major casualty from the WGC Match Play on Friday as Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay all advanced with perfect records.

The Spanish second seed was dumped out after losing 5 and 4 to 2021 WGC Match Play winner Billy Horschel in their final Group 2 match at the Austin Country Club in Texas.

Horschel went 1-up with a par on the second hole and never relinquished the lead, with Rahm failing to register a birdie throughout the day's play.

The 36-year-old American pulled away with birdies on the 10th and 11th holes followed by a 21-foot birdie putt on the 14th to clinch a spot in the round of 16 against Cameron Young.

Horschel progressed in a tight group with a 2-0-1 record ahead of Rickie Fowler (2-1-0), Rahm (1-2-0) and Keith Mitchell (0-2-1).

Top seed and reigning champion Scheffler advanced after beating Tom Kim 3 and 2 to round out a 3-0-0 group stage record.

Kim came out strong with birdies on the first two holes to go 2-up, but Scheffler rallied back immediately winning three of the next four holes.

Third seed McIlroy topped Group 3 unblemished after beating Keegan Bradley 3 and 2, while fourth seed Cantlay beat Brian Harman 2 and 1 to top Group 4 with a 3-0-0 record.

Kurt Kitayama won a three-way sudden death playoff over Tony Finau and Adrian Meronk to progress atop Group 10.

Canadian Mackenzie Hughes produced an upset to advance via Group 12 from Taylor Montgomery who he beat 6 and 4. Jordan Spieth, who beat Hughes on Thursday, missed out after losing to Shane Lowry 2 and 1.

J.J. Spaun also pulled off a surprise by topping Group 11 with a 3-0-0 record, downing Min Woo Lee 2 and 1 to seal his progress.

Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Andrew Putnam, Matt Kuchar, Sam Burns, Lucas Herbert, J.T. Poston, Jason Day and Young also all progressed into Saturday's last 16 knockout stage.

Defending champion Scottie Scheffler got off to a great start at the WGC Match Play, remaining perfect through his first two round-robin matchups after defeating Alex Noren on Thursday.

Scheffler, the world number one, has shown a great affinity for the match play format, finishing runner-up to Billy Horschel in 2021 before knocking off Kevin Kisner in last season's final.

After sneaking past Davis Riley to open his week, Scheffler put his foot down against Noren, draining six birdies over the course of eight holes to run away with it.

Scheffler will advance as the winner of Group 1 with a win or tie against Tom Kim on Friday, while Rory McIlroy also has one foot in the knockout stage after his win against Denny McCarthy, with only Keegan Bradley standing in the way of the Northern Irishman completing a perfect Group 3 sweep.

Max Homa is sitting pretty as the only 2-0-0 competitor in Group 5 after getting the better of three-time finalist Kevin Kisner, meaning he will face Hideki Matsuyama for a chance to seal his path into the last-16.

Tony Finau moved to 2-0-0 in Group 2 with a convincing triumph over Adrian Meronk, while Jason Day beat Victor Perez to take a 2-0-0 record into his tantalising Group 9 clash against the 1-0-1 Collin Morikawa. The loser will be heading home.

Group 2 is up for grabs as Jon Rahm (1-1-0) needs to defeat Horschel (1-0-1) to give himself and Rickie Fowler (1-1-0) a chance to advance, while Jordan Spieth blew a late lead to hand control over Group 12 to Taylor Montgomery.

Xander Schauffele, J.T Poston, Kim Si-woo, Sam Burns, Cameron Young, Andrew Putnam, J.J. Spaun and Lucas Herbert are all unbeaten heading into Friday's final round of group play.

Scottie Scheffler says it is "very special" to join golf greats Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to hold the Masters and Players Championship titles at the same time.

Scheffler won the Players' Championship at Sawgrass on Sunday by five strokes, re-claiming the world number one ranking in the process.

The 26-year-old American's dominant victory comes after winning last month's Phoenix Open, along with last season's PGA Player of the Year after collecting his first four tour titles.

Scheffler has won six of his past 27 events, but joining Woods and Nicklaus in a rare group meant a lot to him.

"It's quite a special group of people," Scheffler told reporters, before joking: "We could add all our majors and Players together and I have two now and they have a lot more than that.

"But any time you can get mentioned in the same breath as Tiger and Jack it's very special. I'm very grateful for that."

Scheffler's career-best form comes with his Masters' defence a month away, and he described how his game has matured over the past 18 months.

"I'm just comfortable with where my game is," Scheffler said. "I feel like I'm improving. I'm definitely learning more and the more you can get into contention and be in the moments. I would say that's probably the most valuable thing is knowing what you feel like and being able to prepare for it.

"I am a bit more comfortable knowing what I need to do. I think before Phoenix [in 2022] I had this idea that I had to play perfect on Sundays and hit nothing but good shots and that's not necessarily how golf is played. Very rarely do I hit it exactly how I want to and maybe only a couple times a tournament. Most of it is just managing your way around a golf course.

"Going into the Masters, it's going to be a fun week… but by the time we tee it up Thursday everybody starts at even par so it probably doesn't have much of an effect."

The American went on a run of five birdies around the turn at Sawgrass, picking up shots at each hole from eight to 12, on the way to a 69 that took him to 17 under, finishing five shots clear of Tyrrell Hatton. Scheffler broke 70 in all four of his rounds.

"I played really well the whole week, really solid," Scheffler said. "I had some times throughout week where I didn't feel like I was swinging my best or playing at a 100 per cent, and then I would just kind of wait and pick my moments, and fortunately, I got kind of hot in spurts in each of my rounds, whether it was the back nine on the first round or eight-through-12 this afternoon.

"I just found a way to choose my moments and get hot here and there and had four just really solid rounds."

Scheffler's dominance at the notoriously challenging Sawgrass was an ominous sign for the Masters at Augusta National.

"I get excited for a good hard test," he said. "I feel like that I can find a way to make pars and hang in there.

"This week I think I had five bogeys for the whole week. Around this place that's really, really hard to do and that's probably what I'm most proud of is just playing so solid. I think I just like the challenge of kind of harder golf courses."

Scottie Scheffler earned a huge confidence bump ahead of his Masters title defence by triumphing at The Players Championship on Sunday.

The American went on a run of five birdies around the turn at Sawgrass, picking up shots at each hole from eight to 12, on the way to a 69 that took him to 17 under, enough for a five-shot victory.

Scheffler, 26, hops up one spot and returns to number one in the world rankings thanks to this big win. He has won all six of his PGA Tour titles since the beginning of last year, with a hot streak leading up to Augusta last year followed in 2023 by a Phoenix Open victory and now this commanding success.

He was two clear of nearest rival Min Woo Lee coming into the final round, but as the Australian's challenge fell away, Scheffler pulled further clear of the field. He broke 70 in all four of his rounds.

Tyrrell Hatton matched the back-nine course record on his way to second place outright, with the Englishman coming home in 29 for a seven-under-par 65 to finish at 12 under.

Hatton made birdies at 10, 12 and then at every hole from the 14th onwards, producing what he described as a "pretty mad" final flourish to scorch to 12 under.

Viktor Hovland had a closing 68 to finish in a tie for third with Tom Hoge, whose 70 on Sunday was the final act in a dramatic week that began for him with a 78. Hoge narrowly made the cut after a 68 in round two, before shooting a course-record 62 on Saturday.

He cancelled flights home on Friday, when bad weather caused a delay to the second round, and again on Saturday, after making it through on the cut line, with Hoge reaping the rewards of his persistence.

American Alex Smalley had a hole-in-one at the 17th, the famous par-three island hole, early on Sunday, but windy conditions later on made it treacherous and a host of players sent balls into the water. Scheffler reached that penultimate hole with a five-shot lead and an excellent tee shot meant he had cleared the last real obstacle in his path.

Hideki Matsuyama was in with a shout at one stage after reaching 12 under with five holes to play, but the 2021 Masters champion played those holes in three over par, signing for a 68 and sliding to fifth place.

Scheffler's playing partner Lee was one of seven players tied for sixth after having two sevens on his card. Lee finished with a miserable 76 that a brilliant birdie at 17 could not salvage, albeit he revelled in the moment after hitting his tee shot to just five feet from the pin. A bogey at the last summed up his rotten day.

Taylor Montgomery went from 10 under after 14 holes to three under three holes later, twice finding water at the 17th, going 5-7-7 in that stretch to tumble off the leaderboard and into the ranks of the also-rans. He parred the last for a 76 and a tie for 44th place, having been firmly in contention for top three just an hour earlier.

Scheffler avoid any such chaos, and after an emotional celebration with family he told the Golf Channel: "It's a lot of fun. A long day, a tough day. I knew the conditions were going to get really hard late, and I did a really good job of staying patient and not trying to force things. I got hot in the middle of the round and tried to put things away as quickly as I could."

His game is in great shape ahead of his Augusta title defence next month, and Scheffler said: "I'm just hoping to improve. I'm just trying to get a little bit better, not over-think things. I'm so fortunate to be able to see some results and enjoy some wins and I'm very thankful."

Returning to world number one will not be on Scottie Scheffler's mind on Sunday when he sets about adding The Players Championship to his already glowing resume.

Scheffler is in position to triumph at TPC Sawgrass, last year's Masters champion heading into the final day at 14 under par, giving him a two-stroke lead over Australia's Min Woo Lee.

In a turbulent era for golf, Scheffler, along with Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, have provided continuity. Since Rahm took the number one spot for the fourth time in July 2021, he, Scheffler and McIlroy have shared the ranking between themselves.

Rahm deposed Scheffler as world number one last month but, with the Spaniard pulling out of the Players through illness and McIlroy missing the cut, Scheffler will return to the summit with a top-five finish at Sawgrass.

But asked about that potential achievement, Scheffler told a press conference after his third round: "I think the ranking is just an algorithm.

"For me, I would much rather win the tournament than get back to number one in the world.

"So that will be my focus going into Sunday is just going out and having a solid round of golf, and the rankings will be the rankings.

"It's tough to rank professional golf, and the OWGR has done a good job of that over long period of time, but at the end of the day for me, it's just an algorithm, and I'm going to go out there to try and win the golf tournament."

Looking ahead to the final round, Scheffler said: "I think the conditions are going to be pretty tough.

"From what I saw, it's going to be pretty gusty winds in the afternoon, so it should be a good challenge."

His main competition may come from Lee, who does not have a PGA Tour win since joining in 2019, his sole two professional triumphs coming on the European Tour.

Lee has made only five major appearances but finished in the top 30, including a tied-14th finish at The Masters, in three of the four last year.

"He's very, very talented," Scheffler said of Lee. 

"I don't know how much y'all may know about Min Woo, but I've heard about him for a long time and he's a very talented player."

Tom Hoge set a new course record without realising it and Aaron Rai celebrated a hole-in-one at the 17th, but it is Scottie Scheffler who heads into the final round of The Players Championship with a two-shot lead.

An absorbing Saturday at Sawgrass saw Hoge card a 10-under 62, as both he and Rai put themselves into contention going into Sunday's closing 18 holes.

Scheffler's 65 took him to 14-under par and made him the only player with three sub-70 rounds, earning the world number two a two-shot lead over Australian Min Woo Lee. They had been tied at 13 under entering the closing moments of the day, but Lee had a bogey at the last and just minutes later Scheffler made birdie.

Lee had to settle for a six-under 66, which he had kick-started by holing a 112-yard shot from the fairway on the opening hole for an eagle two. Another Australian, Cam Davis, had a 67 to reach 10 under for outright third place.

Englishman Aaron Rai drew the biggest roars of the day with a hole-in-one at 17, becoming the second player to ace the famous island hole this week, after Hayden Buckley managed the feat on Thursday.

Birdies either side meant Rai finished the round in style and carded a seven-under 65 to reach nine-under overall for a tie of fourth spot with compatriot Tommy Fleetwood (65), American Chad Ramey (68) and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout (69).

Hoge, whose lone PGA Tour title came at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am last year, finished the day one shot further back. Incredibly, he did not know what the previous scoring record was, so it was a pleasant surprise to learn it stood at 63, achieved multiple times on the flagship course.

"I didn't even know it was a course record until after we got done in the scoring there," Hoge said. Former Open winner Shane Lowry suggested to Hoge he had broken the record after a birdie at the 18th hole, but Hoge still waited for confirmation.

Hoge only scraped into the final 36 holes on the cut mark of two over, after producing a gutsy 68 on Friday following an opening 78. He rocketed into contention on Saturday and said it felt good to be able to cancel his flight home to Dallas Fort Worth, having booked it in the anticipation his tournament would be over.

South Korean Im Sung-jae jumped from level par to eight under with a 64, and Jordan Spieth followed his eagle on the final hole of his second round on Friday with a 66 to go to six under for the tournament.

It was a day for low scoring and those that missed out got left behind, including second-round leader Adam Svensson, with the Canadian shooting a 75 to plummet down the leaderboard to join Spieth in a tie for 14th. Jerry Kelly, the 56-year-old who became the oldest player to make the cut in this tournament's history, went from two over to one under with a round of 69.

Page 1 of 9
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.