Grace, Johnson shoot up Open leaderboard in chase of Spieth

Behind the strength of his 8-under round, Grace shot up the leaderboard and finished with an overall score of 4-under and went into the clubhouse just two strokes behind leader Jordan Spieth who was yet to tee off in the third round. And then on (the par-five) 17th, I was right in the middle of the fairway there and made par.

With Spieth and Matt Kuchar ahead of that 6-under number with final rounds in progress on a friendly Royal Birkdale layout, the chances 6 under could lead to a playoff or win are doubtful.

All wound up on the list beneath a 29-year-old who has played 21 majors and has shown strong results in recent years: four top-five finishes, all at the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Opens and PGA Championships.

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Fierce winds whipped across the course, which borders the Irish Sea north of Liverpool.

When Li won the Nanshan China Masters at the age of 19 in 2014, he became the youngest ever victor on the OneAsia Tour.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy was on the charge and played his way into contention with a 2-under-par 68 despite the breeze.

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There have been 442 majors in 157 years and 31 63s before Grace's fantastic 62.

But when he stepped onto one of the three podiums just behind the 18th green at the end of his third-round 66, the hometown hero's face was obscured by a microphone that stood ridiculously high on its stand.

He played the third round with Jason Dufner, who shot a 63 at Oak Hill in the second round of the PGA Championship four years ago.

Canada's Austin Connelly places his ball on the fourth green.

Prior to Grace's record-breaking round, a bogey-free eight-under 62, around the Southport links, there had been 29 players to shoot 63 including Henrik Stenson's memorable final-round performance at Royal Troon, last year, in securing his first major title.

United States golfer John Daly has been wearing eye-poppingly bright trousers this week.

Grace is by no means an unknown quantity having picked up his first PGA Tour title victory previous year along with seven title wins on the European Tour, coupled with five victories on the Sunshine Tour. He is pictured here hitting from a bunker during practice. "Jordan and I pushed each other on and at one point we weren't sure whose honour it was because there were so many birdies going in".

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