Lombard leads Irish Open as Pepperell, Westwood move into contention

REVEALED Opening tee times for star names at Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch

"I've been rubbish this year so just delighted to play better". Waterford, and attached to Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, turned pro late past year and only learned he had received an invitation to play this $7 million (€6.25m) European Tour event on Monday morning.

"I've always wanted to shoot a low score like this, I've seen others do it over the years and wondered if I'd get the chance, I've been a pro for 20 years and I hadn't done it", Rock said.

Rock, 42, made up 30 places to lead compatriot Eddie Pepperell and Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello while overnight leader Zander Lombard of South Africa fell to fourth with a two-under par 68. That really adds up the score before you know it, it was nice to have the opportunity to shoot 59 but joining the 60 club is pretty cool.

His playing partner Grant Forrest went around in 65 and Rock says that helped his momentum around the county Clare course. It keeps the Co. He was runner-up at the 2014 British Amateur at Royal Portrush.

As it stands Sharvin would qualify for the Open by virtue of being the third ranked player in the standings without a place in the tournament already secured.


Cormac Sharvin is six-under after six holes of his round, Padraig Harrington is three-under also after six. He wasn't going to tell me but I beat him to it. I went through a bit of a bad spell, missing a few cuts by one, and just stuck to the process of my team.

Jon Rahm, the 2017 Irish Open champion, moved into contention with a six-under 64, but the Spaniard is five shots off the searing pace set by the relentless Rock, who lost a play-off to Shane Lowry at the event in 2009.

Seamus Power has recovered from a poor start to move back to two-under through 10 with Shane Lowry in the clubhouse at two-under after a round of 70.

But Pepperell, the world number 36, carded three birdies and an eagle to sign for a 67 and take second spot on his own, a single shot adrift.

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