Koepka makes British Open charge as Oosthuizen, Morikawa do battle

Sandwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Brooks Koepka made a late charge for his first British Open by posting the clubhouse lead on eight under par on Sunday as leaders Louis Oosthuizen and Collin Morikawa did battle in sweltering conditions at Royal St. George's.

Four-time major winner Koepka came good on his pre-tournament promise to be near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon with a brilliant round of 65 to move into a share of third with Dylan Frittelli and Jon Rahm.

Oosthuizen is aiming to become a rare 'wire-to-wire' winner of the Open Championship as the South African has led after every round this week.

But after starting with a one-stroke advantage, a bogey at the fourth allowed Morikawa, who is making his first appearance at the British Open, to take a share of the lead on 11 under.

Spieth's hopes of matching his 2017 Open Championship triumph after fading fast.

The American, who finished his third round with two bogeys on Saturday, also dropped a shots at the fourth and sixth to drop back to seven under.

The pristine conditions as temperatures reached 30 degrees celsius on England's south-east coast offered the chance for one of the chasing pack to launch themselves into contention.

However, Koepka's move after starting the day at three under may have come late for the American to add to his major haul.

The world number eight may rue his two over par round on Saturday after a flawless fourth round.

An eagle at the seventh was sandwiched by birdies at the sixth and ninth before picking up another shot at the 12th.

But six pars coming home left Koepka needing a collapse from the final pairing of Oosthuizen and Morikawa.

World number two Jon Rahm also eagled the seventh to move just three off the lead at eight under after a disappointing start as he bogeyed the opening hole.

World Number one Dustin Johnson and defending champion Shane Lowry were both one under for their rounds through the front nine to move to six under.

Earlier, Bryson DeChambeau ended an awkward week on a high, the former US Open champion carding his first sub-70 round in the British Open with a bogey-free 65 to finish on two under par for the championship.

DeChambeau was involved in an embarrassing spat with his own club manufacturer after complaining that his driver "sucks" after the first round.

Rory McIlroy finished at level par after shooting a 71 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Germany's Matthias Schmid won the Silver Medal awarded to the leading amateur at a British Open.

Schmid, whose second round of 65 equalled the lowest by an amateur in the championship's history, shot 72 on Sunday to finish two over par.

That left the 23-year-old four shots ahead of the only other amateur to make the cut, China's Yuxin Lin.