(Reuters) – England’s Robert Rock surged to a one-shot lead in the Irish Open third round with a record-breaking 10-under-par 60 on Saturday, the lowest round in the event’s history.
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.
Rock made 11 birdies and nearly finished with a score of 59 before missing a 35-foot eagle putt on the final hole.
“It’s disappointing not to (finish with 59) but 60 is a great score. It’s my best score,” Rock said. “I played rubbish so far this year, so just delighted to play better.
“It’s a good opportunity… to get my season back on track, to try to qualify for The Open and maybe have a chance to win a tournament again, which would be lovely because it’s been a long while.”
Rock is seeking his third European Tour title and he will pocket a cheque for 1.16 million euros ($1.30 million) if he wins on Sunday.
England’s Andy Sullivan and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger were three shots behind and tied for fifth.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)