South Africa's Van Rooyen leads Irish Open by 4

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

"As good a start as I can have, really, and hopefully three more rounds and if I can sneak in that top five like a year ago and get an Open spot, that would be great". "We saw that in the last tournament against Iceland but they are as good players as any, they believe in their coach and their system and should stick to it if they can".

"The more I can be just a little bit open with my lower body, I can see it a little bit better".

Tournament host McIlroy could only manage a level par 72 in his third round at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Ballyliffin, County Donegal, to trail leader Erik van Rooyen by 13 shots.

"I feel like I've made some improvements over the last couple of days on that and at least I know I'm trending in the right direction heading into the Open Championship".

Sharing second place are New Zealand's Ryan Fox and Sweden's Joakim Lagergren.

Former Masters champion Danny Willett was a shot further back after recovering from a poor start with five birdies in seven holes from the 11th, with Scotland's Russell Knox six off the lead on eight under. "I just wish I could have birdied the two par fives".

"It's been a great four years and I'm looking forward to going to Lahinch next year, maybe with not quite as much responsibility".

It's going to be very condition-dependent again but if we get a day like this, I'll be doing what I did: "Hit driver everywhere and try to hit wedges in and see if I can hole some putts", said Fox. There's scores out there, I just didn't do it today.

On moving day, Van Rooyen recorded a 66 to go alongside the 65 he hit on Friday to take afour stroke lead at the top, finishing the day on -14. "I'm really disappointed. What can you do?"