Masters champion Jon Rahm hailed his flawless 63 in the third round of the British Open on Saturday as the best round he had ever played on a links course.
The Spaniard narrowly avoided missing the cut at Royal Liverpool following rounds of 74 and 70.
But he took advantage of unexpectedly benign conditions to card eight birdies in his 63, just one shot outside the lowest score in major championship history.
The world number three sunk six birdies on a scorching home stretch to claim the course record at Hoylake.
He closed to within four shots of halfway leader Brian Harman just moments before the American started his round at 10 under.
“That’s the best round I’ve played on a links course ever,” said Rahm.
He added: “It’s my lowest round on a links course and it’s an Open Championship, right? Also the lowest round shot on this course.
“Yeah, it feels really good, but it’s a lot of work to do tomorrow.”
Rahm, 28, said he felt he was playing well on the first two days at the championship despite his disappointing numbers.
“I was playing good golf and I knew what I was capable of,” he said. “I was frustrated because it was basically mistakes that I made.”
He added: “I knew I was playing better, and I knew my swing and my game felt better than the scores I was shooting.”