South Africa's Van Rooyen leads Irish Open by 4

Erik Van Rooyen on the 9th fairway during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club, Ireland, Saturday July 7, 2018. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
Jon Rahm tees off 9 during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club, Ireland, Saturday July 7, 2018. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
The gallery watch as Rory McIlroy follows his shot from the 8th Tee during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club, Ireland, Saturday July 7, 2018. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
Ryan Fox of New Zealand looks on during day two of the Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club ,in County Donegal, Ireland, Friday July 6, 2018. Ryan Fox, Matthieu Pavon and Erik van Rooyen shared the lead after the second round of the Irish Open while Danny Willett’s return to form catapulted him into contention. Willett reached a career-high ranking of ninth after claiming his first major title at the 2016 U.S. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
Lee Westwood takes a shot on the 18th fairway during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club, Ireland, Saturday July 7, 2018. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
Joakim Largergren considers his putt on the 9th green during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club, Ireland, Saturday July 7, 2018. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

DONEGAL, Ireland — South African golfer Erik van Rooyen left behind his overnight co-leaders to grab a commanding four-shot lead going into the final day of the Irish Open on Saturday.

Van Rooyen began the third round in a three-way tie for the lead, but stormed to the turn in just 29 shots on his way to a superb 6-under-par 66 to finish 14 under.

He's four shots ahead of Joakim Lagergren of Sweden (69) and Ryan Fox of New Zealand (70).

Former Masters champion Danny Willett (69) was five shots off the pace after recovering from a poor start with the aid of four birdies in a row on the back nine, and Lee Westwood was seven behind after a 70.

Defending champion Jon Rahm of Spain was eight shots off the lead after a 67 which included a front nine of 30, and tournament host Rory McIlroy was 13 adrift following a 72.

Van Rooyen, seeking a first European Tour title, made the ideal start at Ballyliffin with birdies on the first and second before picking up further shots on the fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth.

"I wasn't very much aware of my score or the situation," Van Rooyen said. "You sometimes get in a groove as a golfer where things just happen and you hit great shots and great putts and that's what happened."

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