The 141st Open Championship heads into the final day with Adam Scott poised to become the 16th different winner in the last 16 Majors. The Australian returned a two-under 68 on Saturday to retake the lead from American Brandt Snedeker and head into Sunday's play with a four shot lead over Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell and Snedeker. Former world number one and three time Open champion Tiger Woods failed to recreate the magic he managed on the 18th, on Saturday, when he birdied from the bunker to finish three-under 67; Woods could only manage an even par 70 for the third round, placing him a daunting five strokes behind leader Adam. The pick of the day, however, was American Zach Johnson, who shot a four-under 66 to tie for fifth with South African Ernie Els at five-under for the tournament.
Snedeker started the day atop the leaderboard but ran into trouble at the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth holes, dropping a shot at each of them to close out a horrible front nine. The back nine was only a little better - he dropped shots at the 11th and 14th. The Nashville, Texas-born pro finished the day with a poor three-over 73. Adam, meanwhile, was largely untroubled and consistent through the day. He managed three birdies in five holes around the turn before dropping a shot at the 13th. That was all the dramatic action we saw from the Australian though, as he went par for the rest of the round to finish with a score of 68.
"I played a good solid round and would say that the 68 was a pretty good reflection of the way I played," he said to The Open's official Web site, "I was excited but nervous going to the first tee this afternoon and expect to feel much the same tomorrow. It's slightly comforting to know no-one went really low today. I truly believe I can go out and play a great round tomorrow and if I do that I will make it hard for the others."
McDowell was in far more aggressive form though and his willingness to go for his shots meant that despite bogeys at the second and fifth, he reeled in shots at the fourth, eighth, 13th, 14th and 17th to tie for second place.
Going into Saturday's play Woods knew he had to pull something special out of the bag to catch Snedeker and Scott. Unfortunately the American had a poor start, dropping two on the first three. It took him a couple of holes to recover his composure but he did just that and picked up shots on the sixth, seventh and ninth. The back nine was not really what he needed either. He needed bold strokeplay and he needed to pick up shots... quickly. He could only manage an even par through to the 15th, where he dropped a shot.
"I did not get off to a very good start," he admitted, "I fought back but just didn't get anything going on the back nine. I thought I had a couple of good looks at some putts but didn't make them. Tomorrow I am going to have to go out and execute my game plan and see what happens."
Day Three Leaderboard (Top Five)
Scott, Adam (AUS): -11 (64, 67, 68)
McDowell, Graeme (NIR): -7 (67, 69, 67)
Snedeker, Brandt (USA): -7 (66, 64, 73)
Woods, Tiger (USA): -6 (67, 67, 70)
Johnson, Zach (USA): -5 (65, 74, 66)
Els, Ernie (RSA): -5 (67, 70, 68)
Where to Watch Live
You can follow all the action live on BBC Two till 12.35 pm BST and then from 12.35 pm BST to 7 pm BST on BBC One and BBC One HD. Live coverage will also be available, till 12.35 pm BST on BBC HD.
You can also follow all the action here. If you're on the go and have no time to watch the Open, download the official 2012 Open Championship app for your iPhone, iPad or Android device to get mobile coverage. There is also the Open Championship scoreboard that provides you with all the latest updates.