The sun shone on The Old Course for the penultimate day of the 2018 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. At the beginning of the day Andrea Pavan and Lucas Bjerregaard, held the lead at nine-under-par, with Englishman and two-time defending champion Tyrrell Hatton following closely behind.
Hatton started his third round with a par, a birdie and an incredible eagle on the fifth hole, moving him to 11-under-par and two clear at the top of the leaderboard.
Also playing on the Old Course, and fresh off Europe’s incredible Ryder Cup win, Tommy Fleetwood did not disappoint, scoring four birdies from his first five holes, climbing the leaderboard and moving to within three shots of Hatton.
Over at Carnoustie, Alex Levy birdied his first three holes to also move him within three of Hatton, but this didn’t last long. By the time Hatton reached the end of his front nine his lead was increasing. His second eagle of the day coming from the 9th hole put him in an excellent position going into his back nine on 13-under-par.
Another man to start the day well was the winner of this year’s Scottish Open, Brandon Stone. Stone moved to seven-under-par within the first ten holes with five birdies.
As the halfway point of the day approached the leaderboard remained almost unchanged. Hatton led at 12-under-par, followed by Fleetwood and Pavan, who hit an eagle on the 12th hole, on ten-under-par and Bjerregaard on nine-under.
Hatton finished the day with impressive six-under-par 66 on the Old Course to put him at 14-under-par heading into the final day.
Fleetwood finished the round five-under, putting him 11 under for the tournament which would have put him comfortably in second place had it not been for Australian, Marcus Fraser. Fraser finished at Carnoustie five-under for the day after he birdied three of the last five holes. This took his total to an impressive 13 under, putting him one shot behind Hatton going into the fourth round.
Scotsman Stephen Gallacher finished the day in third position alongside Tommy Fleetwood. He won the Dunhill Championship in 2004 and could be on for another if he can maintain this form.
Pavan and Bjerregaard, leaders at the start of the day, both navigated Carnoustie with rounds of 71, putting them one shot further back at ten-under-par.
Round of the day probably goes to Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen, who hit a superb 64 at Carnoustie. He is one of a big gaggle of players at nine-under-par including Stone and the winner of the 2018 US Open, Brooks Koepka, who hit ten birdies in a 65 round on the Old Course.
As we head into the final day of the Championship the cut has been made, eliminating those who didn’t match or better two-under for the tournament. Unlike most golfing competitions – whose cut takes place after the second day – the Dunhill’s cut takes place after the third day, once all the players have played at each of the tournament’s three courses. Some big names out of the tournament include Germany’s 2014 US Open winner Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell. McDowell carded two-over in his third round, leaving him at seven-over for the tournament and well off the pace.
Play on Sunday will begin with a ‘Shotgun Start’ – with all players beginning at 8:30am from different holes in order to mitigate against the 40mph gusts that are expected to hit St Andrews in the afternoon.
The big question: Can Tyrrell Hatton can make history and be the first to win the Dunhill Links competition three times in a row?