-9: Z Johnson (US), T Pieters (Bel): -8: S Hend (Aus); -7: H Matsuyama (Jap); -6: A Hadwin (Can), C Hoffman (US) R McIlroy (NI); -5: R Knox (Sco), Selected others: -4: P Casey (Eng); -3: B Watson (US), Jason Day (Aus), J Walker (US); -2: J Spieth (US), T Fleetwood (Eng)
–17 IK Kim (Kor); -11 M Jutanugarn (Tha), G Hall (Eng); -10 I Park (Kor), A McDonald (US); -9 S Lewis (US); -8 M Hyang Lee (Kor), C Masson (Ger), JM Green (US), A Yin (US), M Reid ((Eng), JE Shadoff (Eng); Selected others: -6 C Hull (Eng); -3 S Lamb (Eng); -2 L Davies (Eng), Level S Watson (Sco)
South Korea’s Kim In-kyung extended her lead at the Women’s British Open to six shots after a third-round 66 at Kingsbarns in Fife.
Kim, who led by two overnight, carded six birdies to move onto 17 under par, clear of England’s Georgia Hall (70) and Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn (67).
Compatriot Inbee Park matched Michelle Wie’s first-round course record 64 to move into a share of fourth.
American Ally McDonald (70) is also seven shots back on 10 under.
Park, the 29-year-old Olympic champion bidding for a second British Open title after her 2015 triumph, birdied her opening two holes, picked up three more shots before the turn and then birdied the 11th, 13th and 17th on her back nine, narrowly missing another long birdie putt on the 18th.
“I’ve prepared myself pretty well last week at the Scottish Open, in the bad weather and the bad wind and all sorts,” she said.
“The expectation was pretty low, I just made the cut and I wasn’t putting well.
“The greens were much quicker today than the last two days which helped me a lot.”
In that time, McIlroy had four major wins, but he is without one since 2014.
“JP has been a huge part of my life for the past decade, but I was getting very hard on him at times,” McIlroy said.
“You don’t want to be like that with anyone but sometimes this game drives you to it.
“I would say he is still one of my closest friends. We started together in 2008, we’ve had a lot of great times on and off the golf course.
“There’s nothing to say JP won’t work with me again at some point, but I felt like it was the right thing to do. It was a really tough decision.
“I hate the term fired or axed, it definitely wasn’t what it was. I changed my path a little bit but it was just a build-up of stuff, I felt I needed to make that change.”
The move came a week after McIlroy praised Fitzgerald at the Open at Royal Birkdale, saying the caddie had delivered some blunt words after the Holywood player started the tournament with a string of bogeys.
After fighting back to shoot a one-over 71 in the first round, McIlroy told reporters Fitzgerald had done a “great job” by giving him a “good talking to”.
McIlroy has decided to use Harry Diamond, a friend since childhood, at the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in Akron, Ohio and at next week’s major, the PGA Championship in Charlotte.
But he has not made a long-term decision about who to use after that.
“I just needed someone that knew me and that’s why I took Harry for the next couple of weeks,” he said.
“If something doesn’t work out and Harry and I say two weeks is enough I’ll need to find someone else but I’ve got 10 days between the end of the PGA and the start of the Northern Trust to do that.”
Coverage: Highlights of all four days on BBC Two and online
Charley Hull is Britain’s number one female golfer. At the age of 21, she is ranked 25th in the world, has won tournaments on both the LPGA and Ladies’ European Tour, has played in two Solheim Cups and at the Olympics. Here she gives us an insight into how preparations are going for her two biggest golf events of the year, and a taster of what life is really like for a professional golfer.
Hoping for rain at my favourite tournament
Next week is my favourite tournament of the year – the Women’s British Open. But, unlike most of the players and fans, I’m hoping for some good old wind and rain.
Kingsbarns is a beautiful links course. When I played links golf as a kid, it would always rain and I never used to like it. But now I love it and I’d prefer it to rain as I always play well in the wind and rain, and the Americans aren’t used to it.
Growing up in England, I got used to playing links golf in the rain – I know how to handle it. Nowadays I play golf courses in Texas where’s it windy and can be a bit linksy, so it’s not a massive advantage, but it’s handy.
Lately, I think I’ve gone a bit golf mad again. I’m really, really into it and I get really, really excited to just go out and play. At the moment I get excited playing hard shots, especially out of the rough. When I’m playing well, the hard shots become easy and I find that fun.
I’m really happy with the way I’m playing at the moment. I finished just outside the top 20 at the US Women’s Open.
I’ve been working hard on my swing as I’ve been hitting the ball a little bit right. Sometimes I just overthink things, so recently I’ve been making sure I’ve not been doing this and I’m playing better. It was a bit of a mental thing, but I’ve got it out of my head now.
When I was younger I got a bit obsessed with golf. It was always golf, golf, golf 24/7. But nowadays I kind of go with the flow. I try to not think about it too much. I switch on and off throughout the round. Sometimes I’m thinking about what I’m going to wear that night when I go out with my friends. It relaxes me.
I go into every event thinking I can win, and this one is no different. I think the top 20 players in the world all have a chance of winning but I don’t think about them. I just concentrate on my game and at the moment I’m playing well.
Flying the flag for Europe
Once we’re finished at Kingsbarns, it’s less than a fortnight until we’re off to Iowa for the Solheim Cup. I love it. I think it’s a wicked event and it’s one of the highlights of your career.
I played in my first one in 2013, when I was just 17 years old, so I’m certainly not a rookie any more. I know what to expect. You just have to knuckle down and not be scared.
I take a relaxed approach as you don’t want to work yourself up leading up to big events like this. It’s obviously matchplay and we don’t play much matchplay on the LPGA Tour, so you can’t really practise this.
It is different to anything else. You always have to be with your team. I’m an individual and I like my own company so sometimes it can be hard. I’m just used to it being me and my caddie Adam. But in past years we’ve had some great team members so it’s been a great atmosphere and that’s made it really easy.
I can’t wait for it to start and, having lost the last one, I’m hoping to repeat the success we had in Colorado in 2013.
Too cool for school
A couple of weeks ago I, along with all the girls on the LPGA Tour, received an email explaining that as part of the new dress code, plunging neck lines, leggings and revealing skirts are now banned.
I don’t wear any of them, so it doesn’t really affect me. But I think it’s a shame, as many people label golf old-fashioned and we need to move away from that.
Golf needs to be more original and athletic. If you look at most golfers, I don’t think they look that good. If the clothes were cool, more people would play and watch it.
I spend about about half the year away from home playing golf, mostly in America. It would be really cool to see a lot more events in Europe.
I haven’t played on the Ladies’ European Tour for a couple of years now. It’s kind of sad that so many of the tournaments have died out. I feel sorry for the girls who have no tournaments to play in, but hopefully that will be changing.
Being away from home for so long is kind of hard. But you just have to deal with it. My friends and family understand.
I get on the plane, just me and my clubs, and I meet my caddie Adam at the hotel. We’ll then be together for two to three weeks and then I head home for about a fortnight.
It can be quite lonely but I’m quite an independent person so I’m fine. I speak to my friends a lot on social media and I watch a lot of films. I don’t actually watch a lot of golf.
The thing I miss the most, apart from my friends and family, is my own bed… and also a certain restaurant that specialises in peri-peri chicken!
When I’m home, I go to the gym every morning and then I’ll practise. I prefer playing on a golf course than going to the driving range. Sometimes I play on my own and sometimes I play with my friends. I like to mix it up.
I’m very competitive. I prepare for all games of golf the same, whether it’s the Women’s British Open or nine holes at Kettering with my mates.
Charley Hull was talking to BBC Sport’s Henry Ditchfield