Jordan Spieth hoping for hair-raising day with Tiger…

	Italy's Francesco Molinari with the The Claret Jug after winning The Open Championship 2018 at Carnoustie Golf Links

One of the players lurking in the pack behind the three leaders is Tiger Woods - the 14-time major champion whose decline as a force has coincided with Spieth's meteoric rise.

Johnson and Kisner were at 6-under 136, one shot ahead of Tommy Fleetwood (65), Pat Perez (68) and Xander Schauffele (66).

McIlroy, who signed for a one-under-par-70, said: "I felt I did well to get to three under par for the round after 15 - it was a good birdie there".

"I've always wanted to battle it out in a major with Tiger".

Woods was four shots behind.

The last player to make a successful title defence was Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who coincidentally won at Carnoustie in 2007 and again 12 months later at Royal Birkdale.

If this was the Woods of 15 years ago, he likely would be "the champion golfer of the year, " as they say over here, and have his name on the claret jug a fourth time. "I won't lie. I had too much to drink last night", he said after shooting 67 and finishing in a three-way tie for sixth.

"I can't find the words right now, but one picture would do it." he tweeted in both English and Italian, attaching a picture of little brother Francesco pumping his fist after winning the British Open. I received a lot of good wishes. "Next thing, lo and behold, I'm tied for the lead, and then I'm leading it". Obviously conscious that it could have gone either way, but I knew I was going to do my best today. But even the appeal of Spieth was no match for seeing Woods, in his traditional red shirt, in the mix at a major.

Canada's Adam Hadwin shot 1-over (71) and sits tied for 51st heading into Sunday.

The three-time major victor arrived at the Angus links on Saturday afternoon sporting a rather severe-looking short back and sides but a superb 65 catapulted him to nine under and set up a long-dreamed-about final-day tussle with a resurgent Tiger Woods.

If it wasn't exactly Tigermania, it was close.

He was a forgotten figure when he teed off in the final round of the British Open, mainly because he was playing with Tiger Woods, and because of the star power around him. Six were still tied on the back nine.

At the age of 42, finding a way to win is going to be a tall task.

"It certainly is possible", he said. Still in range, he couldn't get close enough for a birdie when it mattered.

Woods has not won any tournament since 2013 but, with his form returning after years beset by back problems, his confidence is growing.

"It means that someone could post a score from six hours before and potentially win the golf tournament". For the first time I felt like I was ready for it.

"That putt on the last, I'll never forget", he said. "If I can just make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow it will be interesting".

Rose finished almost three hours before the leaders teed off, and was at 4 under for the tournament, two shots off the lead held by Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner. But it was the middle part of his round that left him dissatisfied.

Typical of his first full season since 2015 because of back surgeries, the challenge is more the number of players in front of him than the deficit he faces.

But Scott knows the golfing gods will need to smile on him.

"Jordan and I, we got off to a nice, sort of easy-going start, had a couple birdie looks and then whatever happened, happened".

Of today's performance, he admitted to ESPN, "A little ticked off at myself for sure", adding, "I had a chance starting the back nine to do something and I didn't do it".

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