CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND – Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in the British Open and a big edge in experience. Still only 24, he already has won three majors and his name is the last one etched on the base of the silver claret jug.
One name in the mix makes it all feel so new.
“I’ve always wanted to battle it out in a major with Tiger. Who hasn’t?” Spieth said after seizing upon a calm Carnoustie for a 6-under 65 to tie for the lead with Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele. “It’s kind of a dream come true just to have the opportunity.”
Woods feels the same way.
Never in the mix at the Masters, gone by the weekend at the U.S. Open, the 14-time major champion surged into contention Saturday with a 66, his lowest round on the weekend at a major in eight years.
He didn’t have the best score. He was four shots behind.
But he’s Tiger Woods, and it felt like that again to thousands of fans who crammed along the fairways and behind the greens as Woods ran off three straight birdies around the turn and then two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th to work his way into a tie for the lead, even if that lasted for only 20 minutes.
“I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year,” Woods said. “Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again. But here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to be fun.”
Woods started quietly enough with a few birdies through eight holes. He started his move with a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 9, followed with short birdie putts on the next two holes and with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 14th, he put his name atop the leaderboard.
It was there for only 20 minutes. But it was there.
A bogey on the 16th and a par save from short of the Barry Burn on the 18th gave him a 66. He figured it would at least keep him in range. He wound up as close to the lead as he has been in a major since he was two behind at Muirfield in the 2013 British Open.
“I’m right there,” he said. “I’ve got a chance at this, which is great.”
Yusaku Miyazato had the best day by a Japanese player with a bogey-free 6-under-par 65 to move into a tie for 20th..
Miyazato started the day in 65th but landed into an eight-way tie at 3-under 210 following a round of six birdies.
“Shooting a 65 is amazing,” the 38-year-old Miyazato said. “I noticed during morning practice that I was shooting from an open stance, and I did well after fixing it.”
Miyazato has been taking painkillers here to treat discomfort in his back, but he said he intends to give it his all until the very end.
“I don’t want to pull out because I came this far. I’m not going to let my guard down until I finish,” he said.
Satoshi Kodaira, who is making his third appearance at this major tournament, is seven shots off the pace and tied for 28th. Yuta Ikeda and Masahiro Kawamura are at 1-over and 2-over, respectively.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5