Fowler looking to put early pressure on McIlroy

US golfer Rickie Fowler plays from a bunker on the 18th hole during his third round 68, on day three of the 2014 British Open Golf Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake, north west England on July 19, 2014

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Hoylake (United Kingdom) (AFP) - American Rickie Fowler will lead the pack trying to reel in runaway leader Rory McIlroy at the British Open on Sunday, a challenge he says he is looking forward to against his Florida neighbour.

The Californian-born Fowler briefly drew level with Northern Ireland's McIlroy before a late trio of bogeys set him back and left him six shots adrift going into the final round.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia and fellow American Dustin Johnson are a further shot back with Frenchman Victor Dubuisson alone on eight under and a further shot back.

Fowler, 25 and the same age as McIlroy, piled on the early pressure during Saturday's spectacular third round, and a run of seven birdies in 12 holes before his late problems, gives him reason for optimism.

"I'm really looking forward to it, definitely, like I said, pulling off the start I had today (four birdies in six holes).

"Because playing with Rory, being six back, same position I was today. If I'm able to go out and get off to a good start, maybe I can put a little bit of pressure on him, because he's definitely in control of the golf tournament right now," said Fowler.

"We both live down in Jupiter, Florida. He spends a bit of time down there. And we first played against each other at the Walker Cup in '07 and it's kind of gone from there. So I'm looking forward to it tomorrow. It's going to be a good time.

"We're good buddies and at the same time we both want to beat up on each other as bad as possible so we'll have fun throwing shots back and forth and it will be fun to see if I can go out and put a bit of pressure on him and make him earn it a bit,

"I'll see if I can get myself in the mix, and maybe we'll be able to throw some blows back and forth.

Garcia, who like Fowler, is also looking for a first win at a major knows the odds are stacked against a comeback but didn't write off his chances.

"If Rory plays the way he's been playing, it's difficult to see anybody catching him when he's playing like that.

"But the only thing I can do is play well, try to put a little pressure on him and see how he reacts to that.

"If he's playing that well, he deserves it and if he plays that well tomorrow (Sunday), he'll be a more deserved champion.

"The only thing I can do is keep at it and keep putting myself in these situations, and hope one day that it will be my turn."

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