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Tiger Woods Roars into Contention After Shooting 66 at 2018 British Open

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJuly 21, 2018

CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 21:  Tiger Woods of the United States smiles on the ninth hole during the third round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 21, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Woods moved into contention at the 2018 British Open by shooting a brilliant round of 66 on Saturday to move to five under par at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland.

The three-time champion reached the ninth hole at two under par and proceeded to card three birdies in a row to ignite his challenge for the Claret Jug. His only dropped shot came at the 16th, and he finished within two shots of the leaders.

Woods shot even par in his first two rounds on Thursday and Friday but looked in trouble on Saturday at the first hole after he hit his second shot into the rough. He managed to save par and then had the chance to pick up a birdie at the second, but his putt lipped out.

He birdied the fourth and picked up another at the sixth, which brought cheers from the crowd. An aggressive approach shot set up the chance, and Woods calmly putted from eight feet to move to two under.

A superb putt at the ninth gave Woods another birdie, and he celebrated by punching the air as his round started to gain momentum:

The Open @TheOpen

Three birdies in his opening 9 holes, @TigerWoods is on the prowl. https://t.co/qpzqXJ4BrC #TheOpen https://t.co/LhvbsakZRi

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Birdies at the 10th and 11th followed as he climbed within one shot of the lead. ESPN Stats & Info showed when Woods last hit three straight birdies at The Open:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

5 birdies, 0 bogeys for Tiger Woods now...3 straight birdies for the first time at The Open since the 3rd round in 2014

Golf writer Jason Sobel offered his view:

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

Tiger Woods is one back... at a major championship... 458 days after a fourth back surgery.

Woods' run came to an end as he made par at the 12th and 13th. His day, however, got even better with another birdie at the 14th. The American made the green in two, and although he did not sink an eagle putt, he picked up yet another stroke to tie for the lead.

Ryan Burr of the Golf Channel offered context:

Ryan Burr @RyanBurr

Tiger Woods is back in the lead Saturday at a major. Would be the greatest sports comeback of all time if he wins Sunday. The surgeries, DUI, chipping issues. What a story of recovery & resilience by the great champion.

Golfer Ian Poulter showed his excitement:

Ian Poulter @IanJamesPoulter

I can’t say I’ve ever been so excited for @TigerWoods before.. If he can pull this off it would be “stuff dreams are made of” #Respect 🐐#GOAT 👍🏻👊🏻 https://t.co/pfX1mVP49B

Woods did not have it all his way as he found himself in trouble at the 16th. He looked on track with a fine tee shot, but an underhit putt caused him to drop a shot for the first time on Saturday.

He made par on his final two holes to complete a superb display. Woods will play the fourth round on Sunday with his chances of winning The Open for a fourth time still alive.

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