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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

British Open: Branden Grace shoots lowest round in major history

Calmer conditions at Royal Birkdale has seen a number of players shoot low scores in the morning.

Branden Grace salutes the crowd on the 18th green after his record-breaking round at the British Open on Sautrday. Peter Byrne / Press Association
Branden Grace salutes the crowd on the 18th green after his record-breaking round at the British Open on Sautrday. Peter Byrne / Press Association

South Africa's Branden Grace moved firmly into contention at the British Open on Saturday with his record-breaking third round of 62.

Grace's round, the lowest in the history of the majors, saw him move from four over par overnight to four-under.

That was just two behind the halfway leader Jordan Spieth of the United States, and level with Matt Kuchar. Spieth and Kuchar teed off in the final pairing.

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Going out 10 minutes before them, England's Ian Poulter, runner-up here to Padraig Harrington in 2008, and current US Open champion Brooks Koepka were both three-under overnight.

Also moving ominously up the leaderboard was the world No 1 Dustin Johnson of the United States.

Johnson, starting the day on three over par, birdied six of the opening 15 holes and dropped no shots as he moved to three-under overall.

Earier, Australia's world No 6 Jason Day was one of a number of players to score 65 in the benign conditions that contrasted sharply with the miserable weather late on Friday.

Day, the PGA champion in 2015, went to level par for the championship as did compatriot Scott Hend, who had five consecutive birdies from the 13th to climb to even par.

South Africa's Shaun Norris, who went out on his own in the first tee time of the day at 9:20am (0820 GMT), also shot 65 to go level par overall.

England's Tommy Fleetwood, playing in front of a home crowd, had a four-under-par round of 66 to go to one-over for the week.