Tiger Woods took the lead in the British Open after just a few holes of his third round at Muirfield.
The world number one sunk an 18-footer for par at the second and minutes later overnight leader Miguel Angel Jimenez let slip a four-footer for par at the same hole.
The 49-year-old Spaniard was leading by one on three-under 139 when the day began with a quartet of Woods, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson breathing hotly down his neck.
In all, 22 players were within five shots of the lead, including big names such as four-time major winner Phil Mickelson, the last three Masters champions Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel, and former Open champions Darren Clarke and Justin Leonard.
Johnson was holding steady at two under after a handful of holes, while Stenson, in the final pairing with Jimenez, opened bogey-par.
There was disaster for home hope Martin Laird. The Scot birdied the second to stand at two under, one off the lead, but took a quintuple bogey nine at the fourth where he had two unplayables in the waist-high rough.
Rafael Cabera-Bello birdied the first to get to even par, while Hunter Mahan birdied the first two holes also to get to even par, but then slipped back with a bogey at four.
England’s Ian Poulter fell away with two bogeys in the first six holes and Schwartzel also drifted out after a double-bogey five at the fourth.
Conditions were once again sunny and fine, making Muirfield play as easily as it had done all week.
But with the greens drying out as the day wore on and the sea breezes coming off the Firth of Forth forecast to stiffen, low-scoring looked out of the question.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2013.
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