The Open LEADERBOARD: Francesco Molinari WINS the Claret Jug

Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the 13th green during the third round of the British Open on Saturday in Carnoustie Scotland. Woods trails leaders Jordan Spieth Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele by four strokes

A two-under-par round of 69 on the Scottish links allowed him to finish on eight-under, two shots clear of the quartet of Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner. What followed on the final nine holes was a reminder that even playing great golf isn't enough to win major championships, and while Woods certainly had his game together this week, he didn't have that extra juice needed to avoid mistakes that cost him a shot to win.

The last time Woods led or held a share of the lead at the end of a round at a major was in 2012, at the U.S. PGA Championship. On Friday. He did not drop a solitary shot in 37 holes.

At one point, six golfers were all tied for first place, including the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.

Tournament organisers eventually pushed the spectators briefly away from danger so Woods could continue his play.

Meanwhile, England's Eddie Pepperell is safely in the clubhouse on five-under after a four-under-par round of 67.

Woods found the sand on the par three eighth but got it to puttable range and parred it and again on the ninth he found sand but repeated the escape act with a par and found himself alone in the lead.

Kevin Chappell completes the trio of Americans at the top of the leaderboard and will get his final round under way alongside Kevin Kisner at 2.35pm. He finished tied for third.

He laid up, then speared a majestic 150-yard wedge to within three feet. Spieth was moving along without any mistakes until he went bogey, double-bogey on the fifth and sixth holes.

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He was pleased to be 1 over par after eight holes. "I am a positive man, I go and give it a try and see what happens, and count at the end".

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It is also the first time he has led at any point of a major since 2012, when he shared the 36-hole lead at the PGA Championship. The charge began at the fourth where a brilliant wedge shot set up a birdie, and he picked up another shot at the sixth.

The American tried to hack himself back onto the grass but was anxious about slicing a shot into the bystanders.

He brilliantly eagled the 14, then hung tough with four closing pars on Carnoustie's toughest stretch to close just seven back and just on the verge of contention.

Tiger Woods walks off the fourth green during the third round of the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 5, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Molinari, playing with Woods, was a runner-up at the PGA Championship previous year and now has broken through as a major champion.

"It would be, as you said, better on Sunday", said Woods, whose 5-under-par 66 was his first score in the 60s at The Open in 11 years.

Woods has been plagued by knee and back injuries and dealt with personal problems including a marriage breakup since winning the last of his 14 majors a decade ago.

Woods played his "one bad swing" at the 18th, but lady luck intervened to keep his ball out of Barry Burn and in thick rough that at least gave him a shot.

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