Lowry and Harrington best of the Irish as Alfred Dunhill Championship lead is shared

Lowry and Harrington best of the Irish as  Alfred Dunhill Championship lead is shared

England’s Matthew Southgate fired a 65 over the Old Course at St Andrews to share a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington are the leading Irish players after finishing on 13 under., while Rory McIlroy was three shots behind.

The 30-year-old Englishman made an eighth birdie of the day on his final hole to get to 20 under and join Victor Perez at the top of the leaderboard in Scotland.

Fellow Englishman Paul Waring was then at 18 under, a shot clear of American Ryder Cup star Tony Finau and Swede Joakim Lagergren.

After playing 18 holes at each of St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns over the first three days of the pro-am event, the players who have made the cut will contest the final round back at the home of golf on Sunday.

Southgate has been a picture of consistency so far, following an opening 65 at Carnoustie with a 66 at Kingsbarns before carding another 65 over the layout where he won the 2010 St Andrews Links Trophy as an amateur.

“We’ve played 54 holes and 51 of them haven’t looked like dropping a shot, really,” he told europeantour.com.

“It’s been pretty special stuff tee to green and sticking to the game plan and ticking a lot of boxes.

“I’m so passionate about winning tournaments and being here at the home of golf tomorrow is going to be a difficult one to just keep myself in check and keep producing what I have done the first three days.

“The biggest job tomorrow is going to be keeping me in check rather than the golf swing.”

Southgate made birdies on the tenth, 13th, 17th, 18th, first, fifth and sixth and drove the par four ninth for another gain, with his only blemish coming at the 14th.

Dundee-based Frenchman Perez made nine birdies and a bogey in a 64 at Kingsbarns, while Waring carded a 65 at Carnoustie.

English pair Luke Donald and Jordan Smith were at 16 under, with countrymen Tyrrell Hatton and Matthew Jordan, and Scot Calum Hill a further shot back.

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