Irish Open: Poland's Adrian Meronk leads as Seamus Power falls back at Mount Juliet

Seamus Power
Home hope Seamus Power fell out of contention with a five-over 77
Irish Open third-round leaderboard
-14 A Meronk (Pol); -13 J Campillo (Spa), F Zanotti (Par), J Senior (Eng); -12 E Kofstad (Nor), J Catlin (US); -11 T Lawrence (SA), L Herbert (Aus)
Selected others: -10 A Rai (Eng), D Law (Sco); -8 R MacIntyre (Sco); -7 S Lowry (Ire); -4 P Harrington (Ire); -3 S Power (Ire)

Adrian Meronk birdied three of his last four holes to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Irish Open at Mount Juliet.

The 29-year-old carded a four-under 68 as he bids to become the first Polish player to win a DP World Tour event.

England's Jack Senior (67), Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti (69) and Spanish second-round leader Jorge Campillo (70) are a shot behind.

Shane Lowry (68) is the leading Irish player on seven under.

But while Lowry - who birdied his last four holes on Friday to make the cut - made steady progress, an out-of-sorts Seamus Power slipped out of contention with a disappointing 77 leaving him 11 shots adrift.

Power, who has posted top-30 finishes in all three majors this year, was well placed at the halfway mark on eight under but failed to find a birdie during a two-over outward nine of 38.

Having bogeyed the 10th, Power picked up his first birdie at 13th before dropping three more shots in his next two holes to drop 52 places down the leaderboard on a day of low scoring in County Kilkenny.

Meronk leads bunched chasing pack

Meronk, who last year became the first Polish player to compete in a major, reached the turn in 34 before a bogey at the par-five 10th.

Ranked 110th in the world, Meronk has recorded six top-10 finishes already this season including a solo third at the Dutch Open at the end of May.

While Meronk immediately followed a birdie at the 12th with another dropped shot, he picked three successive shots from the 15th before his birdie putt on the last stopped short.

England's Jack Senior hits a bunker shot during the Irish Open third round
Senior is in a strong position to claim one of the three Open Championship places for players, not already exempt, who finish in the top 10 at Mount Juliet

The Pole heads a bunched chasing pack with 14 players within four shots of the lead including Senior, who is hoping to land his maiden tour title after hitting seven birdies in a second consecutive 67.

"I'm happy with my score so far, I played really solid again today and I can't wait for tomorrow for sure," said Meronk.

"I'll just stay patient, try not to get ahead of myself, play my strategy and focus on my targets and I hope that will be enough.

"I've been working on my commitment before every shot the last couple of weeks and it seems like it's working pretty well so I'll just keep doing that and we'll see what happens."

American John Catlin, the 2020 winner, and Norway's Espen Kofstad are two back with Australia's defending champion Lucas Herbert a further shot adrift.

Watch Irish Open highlights at 22:30 BST on BBC One Northern Ireland on Sunday, 3 July.

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