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Grace, Johnson shoot up Open leaderboard in chase of Spieth

23 July 2017

Rory McIlroy appeared poised to make a run, with three birdies in his first five holes.

I certainly don't want it to sound like sour grapes but it's just a fact of life that they get round with irons off the tee these days.

That was when his caddie Zack Rasego - who carried the bag for Louis Oosthuizen when he won the Claret Jug at St Andrews in 2010 - broke the news to him that he had made history.

Johnson looked like he might have a chance to match Grace's 62, which set a record for low score in a major championship. "I didn't know what was going on on 18, I promise", he said.

"It always gives you some momentum and some confidence heading into the round, and then I just played flawless golf. Definitely a couple of shots there (went missing) on the last couple of holes".

Saturday was a historic day at Birkdale, and Grace will be remembered as the first to ever shoot a 62 in a major.

With 31 scores of 63 in 442 modern majors, Grace now holds the lowest score in major championship history. That 54-year-old record has finally been broken. Of course, Johnny Miller was the first to ever shot a 63 in a major, doing so during the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont to win the event.

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"It was great, reminiscent of last year's Open for me". Of the 10 63s, there was one a year ago by reigning champion Henrik Stenson, and Phil Mickelson lipped out with a putt for a 62. He has just one top-10 on the PGA Tour and another on the European Tour, where he splits his time.

He finished with three straight pars to move to 3 under for the tournament. He is now 11 under through three rounds this week, with two bogey-free rounds already recorded.

Matt Kuchar is still second, as the two match each other across Royal Birkdale.

World No.1 Dustin Johnson was just one behind Grace on a star-studded leaderboard following his six-under 64.

Grace began the day at four over par, but birdied the first hole before repeating the trick on holes 4, 5, 8, 9, 14, 16 and 17. "But I think that's why there are low scores out there today".

"But I'm going to need to shoot probably nine-under, I would imagine, to get to 12".

Grace, Johnson shoot up Open leaderboard in chase of Spieth