Jordan Spieth put himself in prime position to defend the Claret Jug by surging into a share of The Open lead after round three on a day when Tiger Woods shot into contention at Carnoustie.
Low scoring was the order of the day on a glorious Saturday on the east coast of Scotland with the leaderboard a sea of red, and Spieth carded a sublime 65 to sit level with Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele at nine under.
It was the latest in a series of sublime major performances by Spieth, who produced a textbook display of links golf, recording an eagle and four birdies in a blemish-free round.
On a truly dramatic day where the leaderboard was ever-changing, Woods delighted the spectators with a performance reminiscent of the dominance that saw him win 14 major titles.
The American great carded a score of 66, his lowest at an Open since winning in 2006, and will start Sunday's final round four shots adrift of the leaders.
Kisner, who has led or co-led after every round, was also blemish-free en route to a three-under 68, while Schauffele birdied the last to join the leaders and Kevin Chappell is two strokes back.
Francesco Molinari rocketed up the leaderboard with a 65 to reach six under and Zach Johnson, who started round three as co-leader, shot a one-over 72 to fall four back.
For the third straight day Rory McIlroy mixed promise with frustration, a bogey at the last means he is tied six alongside Woods, Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood, while Justin Rose is at four under after tying the lowest Open round ever at Carnoustie with a 64.
After Rose had set the tone for the day, Woods took up the mantle and delighted the galleries by going out in just 33 strokes.
A crunching approach left a tap-in birdie at 10 and he briefly co-led after making gains at the 11th and 14th, only for a bogey at 16 – after a brilliant strike from the tee rolled off the green – to set him back.
Luck was on his side when a wayward tee shot at the last threatened to go in the Barry Burn and a brilliant approach to within two feet saw him rescue par.
Molinari, Noren and Chappell – playing alongside Spieth – also scored big, while Schauffele flew under the radar.
He went on a streak of three birdies between the fifth and seventh before picking up another stroke at 14. The American then rebounded from a dropped shot at 17 to birdie the last and take a share of the lead.
But Spieth is the man most will feel is favourite after riding a juggernaut that never looked like being stopped.
It began with an almighty drive at the par-four first that rolled to within 10 feet of the flag and resulted in an opening eagle, and continued when a glorious approach at the fourth left a tap-in birdie.
A run of six straight pars ended when a marvellous strike into the 11th green left a four-footer for birdie and another gain followed at the par-five 14th.
Spieth has had issues down the stretch this week, but a fine tee shot at 16 left a 10-footer for birdie that he rolled in before safely negotiating the last two holes.
16 de diciembre 2018
|Kante at his best further forward, reiterates Sarri|
|Rose capitulates in Indonesia to squander chance to top rankings|
|Fielding: The better man won but I lived a dream|
|Rallying Bulls stun Spurs, LeBron and Ball post triple-doubles|
|Latham century puts New Zealand in commanding position|
|Mayfield leads Browns past Broncos|
|Canelo-GGG trilogy? We can make it happen – Alvarez|
|Canelo outclasses Fielding by third-round TKO|
|Farmer retains title prior to Canelo-Fielding bout|
|Qatar unveils Lusail Stadium for 2022 World Cup|
|Lakers pair LeBron, Ball revel in triple-double feat|
|Allegri hails ´great professional´ Ronaldo|
|LeBron, Ball first Lakers team-mates with triple-doubles in same game since 1982|
|Premier League contenders Liverpool ready to win titles – Henderson|
|Hopkins´ two TDs help Texans close in on AFC South title with win over Jets|
|Courtois: Simeone criticises Real Madrid to boost popularity|
|Mourinho in the dark over transfers as Pogba rumours swirl again|
|Mourinho marvels at Salah going nuclear|
|The lucky ones - Mourinho assesses Liverpool´s title charge|
15 de diciembre 2018
|Juventus boss Allegri turned his back on Ronaldo penalty|
|Dickerson hoping Barkley falls short of breaking his records|
|Bristol shock La Rochelle, Clermont win again|
|LeBron: Meeting Jordan for first time was godly|
|Ronaldo scores Juventus´ 5,000th Serie A goal|
|I was all over the place - Allen reaches Scottish Open final despite hangovers|
|Solari defends wasteful Asensio after slim Madrid win|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Ronaldo capitalises on Zaza woe|
|I do my work on the pitch – Icardi unconcerned by Inter contract discussions|
|Lyon defender Rafael set for three months out|
|Inter captain Icardi is the ´perfect´ striker – Spalletti|
|Fulham have to stick together, says Ranieri|
|Nuno hails ´very special´ Wolves achievement after third straight win|
|Stuttgart captain Gentner´s father dies at Hertha fixture|
|Valverde not desperate for new centre-back amid talk of Christensen loan|
|Toulouse and Saracens stay perfect in Champions Cup|
|Kovac lauds Bayern´s best performance of the season|
|Barcelona can get the best out of Coutinho and Dembele, claims Valverde|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Werder Bremen 1: Alcacer and Reus guarantee top spot for mid-season break|
|Bristol City 2 Norwich City 2: Canaries knocked off their perch despite late equaliser|
|Atletico´s fighting spirit lauded by Simeone, Godin|
|Hodgson relieved to see Palace end Zaha curse|
|Real Madrid 1 Rayo Vallecano 0: Benzema secures steady response to CSKA loss|
|Fulham 0 West Ham 2: Snodgrass, Antonio punish profligate hosts|
|Warnock brands refereeing situation ´a disgrace´ after Watford defeat|
|Inter 1 Udinese 0: Icardi penalty gets lethargic Nerazzurri back on track|
|Wagner retains belief in survival bid despite Newcastle defeat|
|Griezmann feeling the strain after busy 2018|
|Pochettino ´so pleased´ as tired Tottenham scrap to Burnley win|
|Man Utd hand Smalling new contract|
|ES Tunis 0 Al Ain 3: Convincing victory books River Plate semi|
|Championship Review: Bamford fires Leeds to summit, Middlesbrough defeated by QPR|
|Curry reacts to Kings´ trolling with moon landing video|
|Wentz ruled out of Rams clash|
|Pochettino reaches 100 Premier League wins for Tottenham faster than Wenger for Arsenal|
|Real Valladolid 2 Atletico Madrid 3: Griezmann the hero on landmark appearance|
|Silva rues Richarlison´s missed chances at City|
|Gibson has no worries over Proteas batsmen|
|Wolves 2 Bournemouth 0: Jimenez and Cavaleiro score against toothless Cherries|
|Crystal Palace 1 Leicester City 0: Captain Milivojevic earns vital victory|
|Watford 3 Cardiff City 2: Hornets hang on despite late fightback|
|Tottenham 1 Burnley 0: Eriksen snatches victory at the death|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Newcastle United 1: Rondon strike settles scrap|
|Sabres suspend forward Berglund for failing to report to the team|
|Saunders thanks Fury for getting him ´back on the right track´|
|Hannover 0 Bayern Munich 4: Gnabry and Kimmich star in crushing win|
|I admire Sterling – Guardiola|
|City´s strength in depth makes it hard for me – Jesus|
|Jamieson holds slender lead in Malelane|
|Kashima Antlers 3 Guadalajara 2: Comeback win sets up Real Madrid semi-final|
|Hosszu claims fourth Hangzhou gold, Le Clos beaten by Santos|