Spieth cards 65 to share lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner

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Woods dropped his putter in disbelief when a birdie attempt refused to drop on 13, but he made birdie at the par-five 14th to put his name at the top of the leaderboard - a development that had seasoned golf hacks snapping photos of the huge media scoreboard.

His five-under 66 was his lowest British Open round since he romped to victory at Hoylake in 2006 and left him only four shots behind Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner.

On Saturday it shifted to the buzz Spieth got in the barber chair before going out for his third round.

There's no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under. He puts himself in some awful spots only to get himself out with elite iron play and a dead aim on the green with his putter.

Former Georgia golfer had a chance to head into the weekend as the sole leader of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, but as has happened to so many golfers before him, the Barry Burn got him.

He didn't have the best score. Eastern on NBC. The leaders tee off at 9:45 a.m., with notables like Woods (9:25 a.m.) and Rory McIlroy (9:05 a.m.) going off earlier. There were definitely some mistakes and tough lies that he had to play out of during the day, but when he heats up, Schauffele looks as good as anyone in the field.

Tiger is back, but more importantly, so is his game. Will this be his breakthrough?

He surely hasn't forgotten how to win, but he hasn't been able to will himself to a win as he might have in the past.

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Johnson holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th and had a one-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood at the midway point of the second round. Molinari has been getting birdies all week, but cleaning things up have moved him into striking distance. With the rain and wind gone, day three turned into birdie bingo and Tiger Woods delivered quite the card. He's gotten married, become rich and has four major championship trophies on his fireplace mantle.

Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

So given the backstory, the thrill of the competition lit Woods up like a beacon Saturday. Whether it's going to be enough to win is a separate question. Still, after four back surgeries in the last two years, Woods showed glimpses of his old self.

His tee shot at the short 15th trickled off the side of the green causing his first dropped shot of the day.

The first three days have provided nearly six different conditions of play.

Tiger Woods is back on top of the leaderboard at a major championship. We may go back looking at this round and this week as the spot where Simpson locked up his position on the Ryder Cup. But on the very next hole, he gave a shot with a bogey on 16th.

Johnson had an up-and-down round, holing an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole but also shooting three bogeys and a double-bogey on No. 12 to finish at 72 for the round. "Who hasn't? It's kind of a dream come true to have the opportunity", he said.

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