Tiger Woods on the prowl in the third round of Open Championship

Jordan Spieth of the US plays a shot off the third tee during the third round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie Scotland

That week Woods held the 36-hole lead and was in the midst of a three-win season. The 35-year-old Italian has won on both the European Tour and PGA Tour over the past couple of months.

Molinari didn't drop a shot over the weekend at Carnoustie.

On Sunday, Tiger Woods will contend for his 15th major golf championship after a remarkable performance on day three at the British Open.

Molinari shot a bogey-free, 2-under 69 to finish on 8-under 276. Never could come Sunday in Scotland.

A bogey was followed by a second at the next when he raced his 25-foot birdie attempt past the hole and could not convert the return.

On a hole that has broken many hearts over the years, the main threat is the Barry Burn, which takes a twisting route down the 17th and 18th like the coils of a boa constrictor, ready to squeeze the life out of the unwary.

But Woods admitted he was happy with his round overall.

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. Matt Kuchar, last year's runner-up, and Carnoustie course record-holder Tommy Fleetwood are also in that posse, as are on-form Italian Francesco Molinari, stuffy Swede Alex Noren and a rejuvenated Webb Simpson. "I was very excited last night not to be down the road, ruing another Open opportunity gone". But then there's a difference between being 3-over on Friday and way off the lead and 3-over and way off the lead on Saturday morning. I just need that feel in my hand where I can look at the hole and not really have to align the ball. The No. 9 green and No. 10 tee are as far away from the clubhouse as one can get on property and it's where Woods got super aggressive and started this thing without warning.

The problem for Woods is that he is just one of at least 20 players who will consider themselves contenders to dethrone Jordan Spieth, last year's Open victor at Royal Birkdale.

Talking about his aberration on the 15th, he put it down to a "brain fart", saying his second shot was a "really, really poor decision". He left a putt from below the level of the green at the 16th woefully short and missed the par attempt.

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Jordan Spieth, the defending champion, tops it on nine-under along with two of his compatriots, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele. He finished in third place at The Masters and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open.

"You knew you'd have three, four good looks at birdies, and the rest of the holes, you were just going to try to position it to make par". The American topped the leaderboard until his hopes nosedived following a double-bogey at the 11th and another dropped stroke at the next hole. A three-time Open champion, he has not played in the Open since 2015 and last lifted the Claret Jug twelve years ago. Suddenly, a leaderboard glittering with Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Zach Johnson and, for a while, Rickie Fowler, also had the name "Woods".

Woods capped his front-nine 33 with this long birdie on No. 9.

"I can't lie, if I could pick one tournament in my life to win, it would be the Open", he said. So it was nice to make that move.

Spieth and Schauffele have parred their first two holes. However, with only six shots separating the top 27 and a westerly wind expected to blow, Spieth is taking nothing for granted.

Leaders are on the range at the British Open, where they will be greeted by warm breezes in the final round at Carnoustie.

"I played well today", Woods said.

Even those in the large group at four-under will still believe in their chances, including England's Justin Rose, who produced a seven-under-par 64 early in the day.

"A low score was definitely out there".

The yellow grass of a dry summer in Scotland comes to life Sunday because of a red shirt at the British Open.

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