Tiger Woods turns back the clock to move into contention at Carnoustie

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However, the loudest cheers of the day were reserved for 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, who stormed into contention with a five-under 66 round. Throwing caution aside after starting the day six strokes behind, Woods wielded his driver aggressively and was rewarded with six birdies in the first 14 holes.

Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner might be well-advised to avoid reading up on their Carnoustie history as they prepare to battle for the Claret Jug on Sunday.

The former world number one, who has won golf's oldest major three times before, posted his second level-par 71 of the championship after the good weather that bathed the players in sunshine earlier in the week gave way to rain and grey skies.

A victory would complete a most remarkable comeback for Woods, who has had four back surgeries, a marital scandal and a DUI arrest since his last major.

He finished at 5 under overall, tied with Eddie Pepperell and Kevin Chappell for sixth place. Spieth said. "I've played it out at Augusta in my head".

"I've shown that I've been there close enough with a chance to win this year", Woods said.

Francesco Molinari's win at the British Open has broken the American stranglehold on golf's major championships, with a US golfer having won the previous five.

"I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th", he said. I just needed one more birdie before the sixth hole.

Woods still walked away Friday realising he made it a little tougher on the weekend at Carnoustie if he wants to end a decade without winning a major.

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. His troubles continued at the par-4 12th hole when a mediocre iron off the tee led to two more poor shots and a bogey.

Woods only returned to competitive golf in November, but has recorded three top-five finishes on the PGA Tour this season.

"I got a couple of good breaks but I wouldn't say I drew on anything except the adjustments I've made during the week in my game to feel more comfortable over the ball".

"I'm playing golf for me now".

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy was another to struggle, dropping two shots in his opening seven holes to drop back to three-under, six off the leaders.

"I really didn't feel like I really made a bad swing until 18".

"It's all going to be based off the wind, how much the wind blows", he said after finishing with a one-under 70. "Even if it's windy, as long as it's not wet, I'll try and get myself back into it".

"It was massive to take advantage today", Rose said after the lowest score of his career in any major.

The leader of the 147th Open Championship is Zach Johnson, the victor of the 144th Open Championship, played at St. Andrews in 2015.