Tanihara rises to fourth after third-round 66 at Irish Open

Drysdale ended in a share of fourth after birdieing his final six holes on his way to a course-record 63, with Fox also qualifying when Daniel Im bogeyed the final hole.

At the top of the leaderboard, American Im and Frenchman Hebert both posted impressive totals of 67 to move onto 13 under par.

New Zealander Ryan Fox remains in contention at the European Tour's Irish Open after another solid round. Notes: McIlroy is the tournament host.

He recovered with a birdie on the next and shot three more on the front nine.

"Patience was the key for me as I was playing good, making good swings and I was saving a couple of good shots", said the Spaniard.

"My short game is not sharp enough and I'm making silly mistakes", said McIlroy, who refused to blame his performance on the fact he was busy at the start of the week because he was hosting the event.

Roger Federer won't count out Wimbledon rivals
As for the ladies' draw, anyone who says they can confidently predict who's going to be the champion is either a liar or an idiot. That's going to be obviously a longshot. "Away from those five players, I'm not sure how deep we're talking about".

"I knew there were spots, but it had totally gone from my mind", Ramsay said after a closing 66 that included four birdies and an eagle in the space of seven holes.

The four-time major victor will compete in next week's Scottish Open before heading down to Royal Birkdale for The Open Championship.

The player they call Rahmbo may be a man-mountain compared to the wiry teen who so enthralled the galleries in Wicklow but at just three years older than Garcia was in 1999 the 22-year-old falls firmly into the "golfing prodigy" category. I now need to practise hard over the weekend to get ready for next week and of course The Open.

Paul Dunne is best placed of the Irish contingent on eight under, along with others, including Jamie Donaldson and Soren Kjeldsen, two of 11 former Irish Open winners in the field.

Among those to miss the cut was local hero Graeme McDowell, who slumped to a six at the 18th, a double bogey which proved decisive in him missing the cut as he finished two under.

  • Lawrence Cooper