Jon Rahm felt he had played his best round of links golf after shooting up the Open leaderboard with a stunning 63 on Saturday.
The Spaniard leapt from two over par to six under at Royal Liverpool with a flawless third round featuring eight birdies.
It was the lowest recorded round in an Open at Hoylake and fired the Masters champion into contention for his third major title.
The 28-year-old said: “That’s the best round I’ve played on a links golf course ever.
“It is my lowest round on a links course and it is in the Open championship. It’s the lowest round shot on this course. It feels really good but there is a lot of work to do tomorrow.”
Rahm’s round ignited with a run of four successive birdies from the ninth. He then finished with three more in the final four holes.
After much speculation about difficult weather over the weekend, the conditions were actually quite benign for most of the time Rahm was out on the course.
He said: “It was starting on 11 when everything became downwind and it became a lot easier. The wind conditions are what made the course change a little bit.
“The job today was to come out and give myself the best opportunity I could. Whenever you get a birdie, just thinking about one more. That’s simply all you can do.”
Rahm’s scoring was in contrast to his first two days, when he often cut a frustrated figure as he carded rounds of 74 and 70.
He said: “To be fair, I look frustrated very often! No, I was playing good golf and I knew what I was capable of.
“I was frustrated because, basically, mistakes that I made. That was it. I gave up shots that at major championships are very costly.
“But I don’t need to change anything from today, nothing at all.”
He said: “I’d rather win three times and never shoot 63!”