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Rory McIlroy tied for the lead in Canada as McDowell faces Open qualification shoot-out

Rory McIlroy is tied at the top with one round of the Canadian Open left to play.
Rory McIlroy is tied at the top with one round of the Canadian Open left to play.

Rory McIlroy is tied for the lead after the third round of the Canadian Open while Graeme McDowell is still in with a chance of snatching an Open Championship place.

McIlroy was tied only by Jonathan Byrd for the lowest round of the day - a six under par 64 to draw alongside Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar at the top of the leaderboard.

It was a bogey-free round for the world number four, three birdies on each nine seeing out his lowest round of the week so far.

Irishman Shane Lowry is one behind the leaders in a tightly packed board, Lowry shooting a four under par 66 in Ontario.

Graeme McDowell failed to break par for the first time this week but his even par round was enough to keep him inside the top 10 at eight under par for the week.

The Portrush man must finish in the top 10 and as one of the top three unqualified players to secure an Open place.

Currently, Adam Hadwin at -12, and Mackenzie Hughes at -9 are in prime positions for the top two places, with McDowell joined by Byrd, Nick Taylor, Scott Brown and Erik van Rooyen all in a search for qualification at -8.

Whatever happens on Sunday, both Northern Irish golfers are going into next week's US Open at Pebble Beach in top form.

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