Woods stirred this remote Scottish town on a balmy afternoon, his name going to the top of the competitors in the 147th Open when he two-putted the 14th green for a birdie.
"It feels good to be back in the mix", he added.
Although Woods appeared relatively content - a second straight 71 gave him consecutive scores of par or better to open a major championship for the first time in five years - surely there was some angst over a missed birdie putt at the last hole or the two early bogeys that put him in catch-up mode for most of a rainy day at The Open. "It's been a few years since I felt like this". Next month he bids to complete the career grand slam of all four major titles in the US PGA.
Fleetwood is still chasing his first major title, but the fast-rising Englishman, who had to borrow an umbrella Friday as he doesn't have an equipment sponsor and didn't bring his own, set the soggy course alight with a 65. "I'm not surprised. He seemed confident walking off the putting green today, the little that we talked", said Spieth.
And beating a resurgent Woods to achieve it is something the Texan is relishing. Just go out there and give it your all, try 100% rather than hold back and maybe not give myself the opportunity to do well. "I moved them back about 40 yards". There already was a 64 on the board by Justin Rose and a 65 by Yusaku Miyazato. Then Spieth drove the first green and made an eagle to leap into contention.
After one bogey-free round in 36 holes there were TEN in Round 3.
It was vintage Spieth, or at least as vintage as a 24-year-old's rounds can be.
American great Ben Hogan managed it in 1953 having shared the 54-hole lead with Roberto De Vicenzo but generally it has been a case of so near and yet so far. He used his driver four times, hitting just one fairway, at the fourth, which he birdied.
World number three Justin Rose came ever so close to exiting, before sinking a 15-foot birdie putt at the last to advance with nothing to spare. "That was big for me, just to not finish on two bogeys in the last three holes, [after] playing as well as I did", he said. "I had to stay within reach", he said.
Asked where victory at Carnoustie would rank, he flashed that radiant smile again. "Then ask me again". He may not have answered the question but his glowing face said it all.
GETTY The Open Tiger Woods shot a round of 66 on Saturday
The omens are not very good for the American trio who topped Saturday's leaderboard on nine-under-par.
Scandal in his private life broke later that year, tipping his whole compass off-axis.
Woods, who is 42 years old these days, has not won a major since 2008.
"He was taking a photo of the crowd instead of paying attention to the golf".
So given the backstory, the thrill of the competition lit Woods up like a beacon Saturday.
Rahm said there is a fine line between contending and missing the cut in most major championships, when a few stray shots can make the difference.
Woods began the day six shots back.
But there are five players between him and the outright lead - and what amounts to two threesomes tied with him.
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