Rickie Fowler’s challenge at The Open is trending in the right direction with scores of 70, 69 and 66 so far

Rickie Fowler rises up The Open leaderboard

In the third round of The Open at Royal Portrush this afternoon, Rickie Fowler played himself into contention with a score of 66, five under par, to earn a temporary clubhouse lead with the leaders still out on the course.

After a slow start and a dropped shot at the fourth, Fowler moved through the gears to post six birdies in his remaining 14 holes, without any further blemish.

“We went in the right direction today,” said Fowler after his round. “I feel really good about where my swing is at and I actually made some putts today, unlike Thursday and Friday.

“I am trending in the right direction. You can see that with my scores as well. My game is definitely back to where it was when I won the Waste Management.”

American Fowler, 30, has nine tour wins to his name, the most recent being the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.

“Regardless of how far back I am tomorrow we are going to go out there and give it a run and leave it all out there, especially with the weather we are supposed to have.”

The forecast shows showers – occasionally heavy – and winds strengthening to gusts of 35mph.

“A birdie tomorrow should make up a lot more ground than it would today in good scoring conditions,” says Fowler.

“You have to go out there with the right mindset and take what you get. That is links golf and that is The Open. There is nothing you can do about the weather so you throw the waterproofs on and have fun. It is going to be interesting.”