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Jon Rahm fires Hoylake Open-record 63 to soar into claret-jug contention


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HOYLAKE, England – Frustrated with his position halfway through The Open, Jon Rahm said Friday that he needed a “really good” third round and some help from the field if he wanted to make an improbable title run.

Consider the first part accomplished.

On a better-than-anticipated day of scoring, with overcast skies, little wind and a links softened by early rainfall, Rahm took advantage with a bogey-free 63, setting The Open record at Royal Liverpool and, by the time he finished, moving within just a few shots of the lead.

“I’ve done what I’ve needed,” Rahm said, “which is give myself an opportunity.”

Prior to Rahm’s record-setting round, there had been 10 scores of 65 in a Hoylake Open. But the burly Spaniard shattered that mark by two shots, closing fast with a back-nine 30 to set the mark. It was his fourth round of 63 or better this season, and his career-low score in a major.

“That’s the best round I’ve played on a links golf course ever,” he said.

It had looked like another quiet week for the world No. 3, who after his Masters win tied for 50th at the PGA and then backdoored a top-10 at the US Open following a Sunday 65. Rahm made the cut here at The Open by a shot, after rounds of 74-70, lamenting his four misses within 4 feet and a few other costly miscues.

“I was playing good golf and I knew what I was capable of,” he said.

When Rahm spoke to the media, it was too early to know exactly what his round meant for his Open chances. Having finished at 6-under 207, he was three shots behind Brian Harman. There was still so much golf to be played, with Royal Liverpool as vulnerable as ever.

“There’s a lot of golf to go,” he said. “Honestly, I’m just going to enjoy the afternoon with my family, and that’s about it. There’s nothing to be done.”