Woods welcomes softer conditions after second straight 71

But not necessarily at the British Open.

It took a chunk out of Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, the Nos.

Round of the day was England's Tommy Fleetwood as his six-under score of 65 moved him to within one of the lead.

'There is Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy.

The way golf has been going, it would be reasonable to see the name "Johnson" atop the leaderboard and assume it belonged to the top-ranked player.

When Woods finished, he stood at 5 under through three rounds, the leader in the clubhouse and two shots behind the in-progress scores set by the rising Americans Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, and one shot behind a cluster that included Spieth and kept changing shape and size.

"I think that, if the conditions were to turn and it began to play much more hard and they (later starters) realise that six or seven-under par is not really in the realm this afternoon it could lead to frustration more than pressure, I think", said the 2013 US Open champion.

The projected cut is three over. The steady, light rain made them a little slower and a lot more predictable. But not enough. Gripping the club with his right hand on the shaft, Woods hit a low "snipe" that narrowly missed the more adventurous members of the gallery.

Johnson overcame a bogey on the opening hole with birdies on the third and fourth holes, and he never put himself under too much pressure the rest of the way.

Tiger Woods has shot a 5-under 66 in the third round of the British Open and is in contention to win his first major in more than 10 years. His low ball flight, grinding nature and good putting give him the right ingredients.

He scrambled for par at the tough 18th hole at Carnoustie, after his tee shot landed on the bank of the Barry Burn and bounced right into the thick rough. The long, brutish hole led to a pair of 4s coming home for Spieth in Round 1 and Round 2, but on Saturday it led to his closing act.

"He's close" to peak, said Shaun Norris, the 36-year-old South African who played alongside Woods. "If I could pick one tournament..." Chasing a three-time major victor who could not be more built for links golf if he was the offspring of Young Tom Morris is quite another.

"Everyone acts like this is the first time I've been bandaged up". In the power era of golf, he is more of a pistol than a cannon. Surprisingly, that 12th PGA Tour win is his last to date.

Woods delivered a pinpoint approach to the final green but his birdie effort slid by the hole at the last second. He was three shots behind the leaders, who had yet to tee off in the afternoon at Carnoustie. That has sent him rocketing up the leaderboard, at time of writing he is -4. After a layup, he hit a terrific third shot to about three feet and tapped in for par, capping a third-round 66.

When a 25-foot birdie putt trundled across the ninth green and into the cup it seemed like something special was brewing.

"I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left", explained Woods. For Rahm, a triple bogey-bogey-double bogey stretch to end his front nine did him in.

Dustin Johnson wasn't alone in his struggle.

Following a shot off the drop, Kisner two-putted to card a double bogey and finish 1-under for the day and tied with Johnson for the lead at 6-under overall. That led to a double bogey, relegating him to a 70 and a share of the lead.

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