The Open 2019: Shane Lowry 'dreaming' of win after sensational round of 63

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'This is glorious stuff' - Lowry lights up Open with eight-birdie 63

Shane Lowry admitted he would go to bed "thinking about holding the Claret Jug" on Sunday after finishing round three of The Open with a four-shot lead.

The Irishman is 16 under after carding a sensational course record of eight-under 63 at Royal Portrush on Saturday.

England's Tommy Fleetwood is second on 12 under, while American JB Holmes is two shots further back in third.

"It's only natural, isn't it?" said Lowry. "We're human. We're not robots. We can't not think about things."

He added: "And when you try not to think about something you end up thinking about it more - so you might as well talk about it.

"I'm not going to be sitting there on Sunday morning in the house trying not to think about the day ahead. I'll be talking about it."

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The Open 2019: Shane Lowry 'struggling to take in' amazing third round

The 32-year-old also held a four-shot lead after three rounds of the US Open at Oakmont in 2016, but a final-day collapse saw him fall away and Dustin Johnson claim victory.

"I learned a few things that day about playing the final day in a major with a lead," he said. "I'm a different person now. That's what will help me.

"I've got certain things in my life that make it different. I've got a family now. No matter what I shoot on Sunday, my family will be waiting for me."

Lowry only fell short of equalling Branden Grace's major-championship record of 62, set at The Open two years ago at Royal Birkdale, when he missed a putt by an inch on the 18th green.

He was cheered on by a partisan crowd and he reflected: "Walking from the green to the next tee, people are literally a yard away roaring in your face.

"I thought I dealt with it well and hopefully will do the same on Sunday."

Home trio Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke had been tipped to do well at the Dunluce Links on the Northern Ireland coast, but only McDowell made the cut and is two under after a third round of 68.

"I felt like I could come here and come under the radar - I'm not quite under the radar any more," Lowry added.

Weather could play a part

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Fleetwood, Holmes & Koepka in best shots from day three

Lowry will play with Fleetwood in Sunday's final group, and the pair will tee off at the earlier than scheduled time of 13:47 BST because of a forecast of wet and windy weather.

"Tommy grew up in Southport, he's played in bad weather and bad conditions before," said Lowry. "JB Holmes flights the ball lovely, he's pretty good. Brooks (Koepka) is there too.

"There's a good leaderboard behind me. We'll see what happens."

Fleetwood, 28, shot a five-under 66 to follow rounds of 68 and 67 and is two shots ahead of Holmes.

"There are moments where you get your nerves, and there are critical moments you have to handle," said Fleetwood.

"I have handled them pretty well this week. The weather's set to be pretty rough, but I'll be pretty happy no matter what.

"We'll see what happens, but Sunday is going to be special and very loud. It will be a challenge to keep your concentration all day but I wouldn't have it any other way."

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