Sweden's Henrik Stenson and America's Phil Mickelson look set to battle it out for the 145th Open, with the pair pulling away from the rest of the field at Royal Troon going into the final round on Sunday.
Stenson and Mickelson trade blows
Stenson, bidding to become the first Scandavian major winner ever, was a face of concentration as his caddy chipped away with advice throughout the round. Mickelson was his usual calm persona, constantly reviewing the shots and holes ahead of him.
Despite Mickelson leading overnight, it was Stenson who made the better start. The Swede opened with two early birdies, before handing the advantage back to his playing partner when he bogeyed to holes towards the end of the front nine.
Mickelson was a picture of consistency as he hit par after par throughout the middle of his round, before a nervy last few holes let a revived Stenson back into the driving seat. The Swede ended the day one shot ahead going into the final round on Sunday.
Mickelson is followed by a flurry of Americans who have surprised many with their excellent displays on the links course, as Bill Haas and JB Holmes left themselves with a glimmer of hope after rounds of 69. The pair are third and fifth respectively but six and eight shots behind Stenson.
Britain's surprise performer has been Andrew 'Beef' Johnston, affectionately nicknamed after once driving a burger off the tee. Ranked 104th in the world, Johnston is clearly enjoying his weekend after celebrating currently sitting fourth with a run down the 18th hole high giving everyone in sight.
A day to forget for many
Whilst some enjoyed a gloomy Saturday, others could not cope with the challenging Ayrshire conditions. Gusty cross winds caused the greenkeepers to cancel cutting the greens and move pins and tees around to ensure the day could run to schedule.
Although the winds did not reach the anticipated speeds, the afternoon rain and a challenging back nine in the conditions caused many of the world's finest to drop out of contention. Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Rose were all putting together handy rounds on the front nine, before the second half of the round put an end to their Claret Jug hopes.
From Mickelson and Stenson who seemed to revel in the conditions, to Rory McIlroy and Colin Montgomerie who did not enjoy their finest moments. McIlory threw his three wood down in frustration towards the end of the round, snapping the head off, whilst Montgomorie refused to talk to the media after a round of 79. Expect more fireworks on Sunday as the third major winner of the year is crowned.