Tiger Woods' strong third round keeps him in contention at British Open

Francesco Molinari hoists the Claret Jug after winning the British Open on Sunday at Carnoustie

Jordan Spieth will take a share of the lead into the final round of the 147th Open Championship as he looks to become the first back-to-back victor for a decade.

The 35-year-old finished two shots ahead of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

The last of his 14 majors came at the U.S. Open in 2008.

Tiger Woods has dropped out of the lead at the British Open after a double-bogey at the 11th hole.

Woods, playing with Molinari, shot 71 to end five under alongside fellow American Kevin Chappell and England's Eddie Pepperell.

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.

He then fluffed his first chip which came within inches of finding a bunker, and he then putted six feet beyond the hole before missing the return to walk to the next tee with a six on his card. But 69 was the low score among the first 22 players out in Sunday's final round as the breeze was blowing 15-20 miles per hour. "I know he made a couple of putts here and there for par, but to get it to where it was basically a kick-in from some of the spots he put himself in, that was impressive".

Woods, who insisted he had not realised he was in a share of the lead at one point, conceded at times in the past few years he had given up hope of being in such a position again.

"I'm not sure another day on the range is going to do me any good", he added.

"Even though he's won 14, you have to learn how to get back", said McIlroy whose last major was in 2014.

British Open champion Francesco Molinari of Italy plays out of a bunker on the sixth hole during Sunday’s final round at Carnoustie in Scotland

Before heading to the course on Saturday, Spieth went into Carnoustie for what he called "a very British haircut", just as Tiger Woods was rolling back the years with his third-round 66 in front of huge galleries. I'm not surprised. He seemed confident walking off the putting green today, the little that we talked.

But a double-bogey six at the second following bunker trouble preceded another dropped shot at the third to leave Kisner lagging behind by three. "It didn't feel any different", said Woods.

A dozen players were separated by four shots, which is nothing considering that the past two British Open champions at Carnoustie rallied from 10 shots (Paul Lawrie) and six shots (Padraig Harrington) on the final day.

Francesco Molinari was the "other" guy, somebody to watch Sunday when the wall-to-wall spectators blocked a clear view of the superstar in his pairing, Tiger Woods.

It looked like he might do just that going into the final day.

.

And the prospect of being stalked by Woods, just four shots back after a 66, is one Spieth is relishing, certainly more than his razor cut.

Then three holes later, Woods two-putted for birdie at No. 14 and there he was, right at the top of the giant yellow leaderboards dotted all around Carnoustie, tied for the lead with five players at 6 under.

"I think it will take a long time for this to sink in". Schauffele has two holes remaining.

Round of the day: On a day when the winds were up and conditions were as tough as they've been all week, Molinari started his round with 13 straight pars before finally making birdie on the par-5 14th, a hole that was playing more like a par 4 during the final round. The wind is supposed to pick up a little bit.

Jordan Spieth was tied for the lead at Carnoustie as he tries to become the first repeat victor in 10 years at the British Open. "He's healthy. I wouldn't say we're anxious about him, but he's one of those guys that's always in with a shot".

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