Spieth shot a superb six-under-par 65 in benign conditions on Saturday to catapult himself up the leaderboard as he aims to follow in the footsteps of Padraig Harrington, the last player to retain the Claret Jug a decade ago. So when he rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 9, stiffed an approach inside 2 feet for birdie at No. 10, and almost drove onto the green to set up a tap-in birdie at No. 11, there was a feeling something special was happening.
Jordan Spieth is hoping to join the elite group of golfers to have retained the British Open title as he goes into the final round at Carnoustie on Sunday in a share of the lead.
"I think he's got a great chance", Norris said. He figured it would at least keep him in range.
Woods has not won a major since 2008 after personal problems and serious injury interrupted his career, but played himself into contention at Carnoustie with a five-under 66 on Saturday. Tried to do that for the most part.
A 25-foot birdie putt dropped on the ninth and Woods carried the momentum into the homeward nine.
"I'm right there", he said. "It didn't stop raining the whole time", a drenched Day said. The No. 2 player in the world, Justin Thomas, also was headed toward a weekend off. Thomas was 2 under for the tournament when it took him two shots to get out of a pot bunker in the sixth fairway and three putts from long range on the green, leading to double bogey.
Fellow Open debutant Cameron Davis is seven strokes behind after a second-round 72, while Marc Leishman (72), Cameron Smith (71) and Brett Rumford (70) are all eight shots off the pace.
"Just need to get off to a fast start tomorrow", he said. The stellar round gives Woods a shot at winning his 15th major on Sunday. "This is the best way I could have spent my birthday".
"I could have cleaned up the round a little bit", he said.
He stuffed his approach to 2 feet on No. 4 and had a few more short birdie putts until he came to the par-3 16th, when his 5-iron settled 12 feet away for his longest putt of the day. And it's the first time he has had to look over his shoulder at Woods.
Woods, who has three Open wins in his 14 Majors, will be a big contender on Sunday as Carnoustie Golf Links was benign and amiable with no wind and flawless weather.