Kjeldsen leads by 2; big names stumble at Irish Open


After two days of difficult conditions, a new course record was set at Royal County Down. And while there were low scores out there, several big names tumbled down the leaderboard in Round 3.

Leaderboard: Soren Kjeldsen (-7), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (-5), Maximilian Kieffer (-5), Bernd Wiesberger (-4), Richie Ramsay (-4), Tyrell Hatton (-4)

What it means: With names like Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald near the lead to start the day, it was Kjeldsen who emerged from a crowded leaderboard to grab the lead heading into the final round. Coming off a T-9 at the Spanish Open and a T-18 at the BMW PGA, Kjeldsen made six birdies and two bogeys and is in position to win his first title since 2009.

Round of the day: Kieffer set a new course record with seven birdies and a bogey for a 6-under 65. The German's had a wild week after opening with a 67, he ballooned to a 78 on Friday before finishing in a tie for second to end Day 3.

Best of the rest: Lucas Bjerregaard is still seeking his first top-10 of the season, but he moved into a tie for eighth after a 5-under 66.

Biggest disappointment: It was not a good day for the marquee names. Rickie Fowler moved to 2 under par after a chip-in eagle at the par-4 16th, but the Players champion followed that up with a quadruple bogey on No. 17 and a triple bogey on 18 to finish at 5 over par. Padraig Harrington also backed up with a 7-over 78.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: All eyes will be on the weather as just about anyone under par has a chance to take home the trophy, especially if the wind and rain pick up on Sunday.