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Jordan Spieth leads The Open as Tiger rolls back the years

Jordan Spieth leads The Open as Tiger rolls back the years

Francesco Molinari has held off a cast of golfing giants including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and defending champion Jordan Spieth to become the first Italian victor of the British Open in 158 years.

Spieth fired a flawless 6-under-par 65, with an eagle and four birdies, to go into the final day on 9-under-par, level with two other Americans, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

But he could get the battle with Tiger Woods he has always pictured in his head with the 14-time major victor lurking ominously among the chasing pack after a thrilling day of low scoring at a defenceless Carnoustie.

Still, after four back surgeries in the last two years, Woods showed glimpses of his old self.

"It's been a few years since I felt like this", said Woods, who hasn't won a PGA Tour event since 2013, when he won five of them. "I will need an even better final round to win but I have given myself a chance". In theory, he could still win a place in next year's field at Royal Portrush by coming through qualifying or winning next week's Senior Open Championship, but the Scot appeared to accept that it was very unlikely that he would...

Woods got to be in contention on a Sunday by firing a 5-under 66 on Saturday, a score that was his best weekend round at a major since 2010.

For 20 minutes on a warm Saturday afternoon at the British Open, Tiger Woods' name was back atop a leaderboard at a major championship and Carnoustie was buzzing.

"I'm right there. I've got a chance at this, which is great".

Compared to how he finished his first round Spieth was more than happy to negotiate the daunting closing holes with no further damage and his name lurking on the leaderboard.

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Fellow Englishman Justin Rose failed to make a run on his front nine and dropped a shot at the fifth to slip to three under.

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

He ended the day on five-under 208 while compatriots and overnight leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner had not completed their rounds by press time. "If it's up here in Scotland and I'm living up here, I might just give it a run in the next few years".

At 5 under overall, Woods was two shots off the lead.

He seized the momentum to birdie the short par-four 11th and made up another shot at the par-five 14th to move to within two of the lead, before another wayward tee shot and a duffed chip cost him a bogey on 16.

"I know as well as anyone that anything can happen in the Open".

Currently, there are 71 players at 1 over par or better (T50). "I felt I really had control of the ball". I don't really think you can get a much tougher test than Shinnecock or Carnoustie.

"I said to my caddie walking down the fairway, 'Let's have a finish for the crowds at least,"' Lombard said.

"It was massive to take advantage today", Rose said after the lowest score of his career in any major.

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