Shane Lowry was edging ever closer to winning The Open despite making back-to-back bogeys to complete his first nine holes in round four at Royal Portrush.

The Irishman, ahead by four overnight after a stunning 63 on Saturday, played an ugly first hole to start with a bogey but soon looked in control as he birdied the fourth, fifth and seventh to reach 18 under.

The heavy rains forecast for Sunday arrived and made their presence felt as Lowry made bogeys at eight and nine to turn in a level-par 36.

However, at 16 under, he was still five clear of nearest challenger and playing partner Tommy Fleetwood, who was one over for his round after failing to convert a few looks at birdie early on.

Lee Westwood was third at nine under, seven off the pace, with every other player seemingly out of contention.

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Brooks Koepka made a superb eagle at the fifth, but only after bogeying his opening four holes. The world number one was in a group at seven under with Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler and Danny Willett.

- India's Shubhankar closes in on top-50 -


Shubhankar Sharma could better his last year's finish of T-51.


Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma sunk a 45-foot birdie on the final hole to savour a career-best round of 68 at the Majors, putting him in sight of a top-50 finish.

Making his 23rd birthday memorable, Shubankar hit six birdies, three of them on last six holes, including the dangerous 16th, also called ‘Calamity’

Sharma carded 70, 72, 77 and 68 for a total of three-over 287. He was T-52 but he could well finish better than last year’s T-51, if the weather worsens, as expected.

( Inputs by PTI )