Sublime Spieth leads but there's a Tiger prowling at Carnoustie

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Jordan Spieth put himself in pole position to retain the Claret Jug. Keel Timmins wraps up all the best action, stats and highlights from day 2 at The Open

What happened on Saturday at The Open?

Jordan Spieth backed up a Friday 67 with a sensational six-under-par round of 65 to head into Sunday at Carnoustie in prime position to successfully defend his Open Championship title.

Spieth, who survived a back-nine scare at Birkdale last year to win his first Claret Jug, got off to a dream start by driving the green on the par-4 opening hole and rolling in his eagle putt.

He’d then go on to pick up a further four shots to hold a share of the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner.

It was a thrilling penultimate day on the east coast of Scotland, with Justin Rose kicking things off with an early round of 64, and then Tiger Woods catapulted into contention with a super 66.

At one point, Woods held a share of the lead. A bogey at the tough par-3 16th and a gutsy par-save at the 18th has the 14-time major champion just four shots back heading into tomorrow’s final round.

In the final few groups, both Schauffele and Kisner played excellently, particularly over the final stretch of holes, to hold on and maintain a fine opportunity to get off the mark at major championship level.

Elsewhere, Rory McIlroy managed to get around under-par, but his round of 70 leaves the Northern Irishman with plenty of work to do if he’s to win his second Open, while the in-form Francesco Molinari shot a 65 to sit solo fifth and three shots back of the American trio at the top.

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Talking point

Since finishing third at The Masters in April, Jordan Spieth has missed two cuts and hasn’t registered a top-20 in six starts. If it wasn’t already clear, this week just evidences that the 24-year-old lives for the big tournaments.

Spieth has dropped to 6th in the world rankings and his only two top-5 finishes this season have come at the Masters and the Houston Open the week prior.

There’s been absolutely no indication that this sort of performance has been brewing – he entered this week off the back of missed cuts in two of his last three events, while his putting rank has fallen to 175th on the PGA Tour, losing almost 0.33 of a stroke on the greens per round.

But now, after rounds of 72, 67 and 65, Spieth is the big favourite to land the Claret Jug with just 18 holes to go.

And he did it all with a fresh haircut, which he revealed cost him £9. The barber got quite the tip…

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