Rock moves out in front on day three at the Irish Open

Rahm with the Irish Open trophy and girlfriend Kelley Cahill in Portstewart in 2017

Rahm with the Irish Open trophy and girlfriend Kelley Cahill in Portstewart in 2017

It also bettered Rock's best ever European Tour round by three shots and handed him a 13 under par total, one clear of Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello and England's Eddie Pepperell.

"I found out Monday, 10:30am or 11am, I was in", Dawson said. But I do think links golf is different.

"I would like to thank all of the fans who have contributed to such an unforgettable occasion thus far and I am sure the remainder of the weekend will produce the kind of drama and noise for which this tournament has become renowned". He'd love to go one place better this week, although just being in contention is reward enough after so much down time.

"It's hard to say it makes you play great because you can't force that but it's a great tournament and the people are fantastic". "I'm not hitting the ball perfectly but my short game has been feeling good".

Mexico's Abraham Ancer, Spain's Jorge Campillo and England's Lee Westwood were tied for third at seven under. We have created a festival of golf of which I have rarely seen in my decades of attending and playing in this event. He played really well and that helped me see that there were birdies to be made and then I started putting really well.

"I'm so comfortable on links courses".

The 46-year-old is part of a strong chasing pack, which includes his fellow former Ryder Cup players Andy Sullivan, Thorbjørn Olesen - both in a share of sixth on six-under - and Rafa Cabrera Bello, who lies on five-under alongside defending Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Champion Russell Knox and Northern Ireland's Cormac Sharvin, among others.

"It's been great. I had a great season last year and I have a great season this year, too".

The overall challenges for Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry and Seamus Power ended in this third round but two Irish players are within touching distance from the top.

"Any time you've got a chance to win a tournament like the Irish Open or Scottish Open, it really means something, it gives me a little extra focus".

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