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Harrington rolls back the years on the day McIlroy rolls in the putts

Ulsterman fires seven birdies to join Harrington and seven others in tenth position at the Dunhill Links.

Harrington shot a three-under round today.
Harrington shot a three-under round today.
Image: Ben Brady/INPHO

RORY MCILROY AND Padraig Harrington are in a share of tenth position but eight strokes off the lead held by Richard Mansell at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

McIlroy – who was in 41st position at the start of the day – actually bogeyed his first hole at the Old Course before he found form, posting seven birdies, coming home in 32, to end the day with a six-under round of 66.

“The rain yesterday softened the course up so even though it was windy out there the ball was stopping roughly where it landed and that made it quite scoreable,” said McIlroy in an interview with Sky Sports.

“I find it hard to see how someone doesn’t go out there and shoot at least a couple under. It’s as easy as it can be right now.

“If I could shoot eight under tomorrow you’d have to make Mansell shoot under par so that’s a target.”

Harrington, too, had a fine day. His three-under round of 69 at the Old Course included four birdies and one bogey.

Players have rotated between Carnoustie, St Andrews and Kingsbarns in the first three rounds of this tournament with the final round due to be in St Andrews tomorrow.

Mansell leads by four – extending his lead by two shots – after he shot a five-under 67 at Carnoustie. The Englishman has yet to win on the DP World Tour.

England’s Daniel Gavins, Australia’s Ryan Fox and Sweden’s Alex Noren are second, four shots back. 

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Afterwards Mansell said: “I played really, really well. We had one bogey on nine. I hit a good shot in and, again, was just really in control of my golf ball. I’ve putted good.”

He added: “I’ve been in contention a lot this year and had chances on Sundays. Every time, they say in golf, that you don’t lose, you learn. That’s what I feel like I’ve done really well this year.

“Tomorrow there’s a lot of golf. It’s links golf, anything can happen. It’s St Andrews. People can shoot 60. I’m just really focused on myself right now. I’m going to try and shoot a good score and see where it puts me. And just not worry about anyone else.”

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