Best-placed Irish golfer Graeme McDowell admitted he felt “mediocre” in comparison to his playing partner and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship pace setter Tyrell Hatton.

Hatton carded 10 birdies in the best round of his career to equal the course record at St Andrews as he takes a three shot lead going into the final round.

His playing partner McDowell is the best-placed Irish golfer after a second successive 67, but lies nine shots off the pace at eight under, with Paul Dunne a further two shots back.

Shane Lowry slipped down the field after following up yesterday's 68 with a 72 today and is on four under, while Padraig Harrington is two under after a 71. Cormac Sharvin is level par, Jack Hume two over, Michael Hoey three over and Paul McGinley four over.

Hatton’s course record was the day’s main talking point, but McDowell for his part dropped just one shot, on the par-four 12th, but admitted the round paled into significance with the sublime form of the player ranked 153 in the world.

“I played quite nicely today,” he said afterwards.

“Tyrell played a tremendous 62 and made it look very easy out there. Conditions were very benign but you have still got to play the golf.

“Five under felt mediocre in comparison to my playing partner.”

The former US Open winner is one of six players tied on eight under and hopes to continue tomorrow where he left off today to challenge the 11 players ahead on the leaderboard.

“I hung in coming in, gave myself some opportunities and it’s always nice to birdie the last.”

“I’ll need to go low tomorrow to do any sort of damage on the leaderboard but it’s nice to be semi in the mix.”