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Scott leads Open by four as Woods and McDowell give chase

Australia's Adam Scott opened up a four-stroke lead at Royal Lytham & St Annes on Saturday

Story highlights

  • Australia Adam Scott opens up four-shot lead at Open Championship after third round 68
  • Overnight leader Brandt Snedeker slips to joint second after round of 73
  • Tiger Woods five shots behind lead after posting even-par round of 70
  • Graeme McDowell plays himself back into contention with a three-under 67

Adam Scott will take a four-stroke lead into the final round of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes after shooting a two-under par 68 on Saturday.

The 32-year-old finished on 11-under par, four clear of overnight leader Brandt Snedeker, who struggled to a 73 and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell (67) with Tiger Woods lurking a shot further back on six-under par.

In benign conditions on the Lancashire coast, Scott put together a composed round, picking up two birdies on the opening nine before bagging another at the par-five 11th.

A bogey at the 13th checked his progress but the Australian, who is bidding to win his first major championship, came home in even par -- aided by a stunning bunker shot at the 17th.

"A four shot lead doesn't seem to be very much this year on any golf tournament that I've watched. That doesn't mean a lot," Scott said.

"The good part is if I play a solid round of golf tomorrow, it will be very hard for the others to beat me, and that's all I'm thinking about," he added.

    Snedeker, who hadn't dropped a shot in the opening 36 holes, saw shots slip away in a hurry on Saturday, arriving at the turn three-over par for his round.

    Further shots went at the 11th and 14th before two birdies in the closing three holes dragged the 31-year-old back into contention.

    Woods who is bidding to win a 15th major title, recovered from a bogey, par, bogey start to finish with an even-par 70.

    "I turned it around. I got off to an awful start and battled back and got myself right back in the mix again going into tomorrow, and I'm right there," Woods said.

    "I'm five back. So Adam is in a great spot right now, he's got a four shot lead and he's playing really well. He's going for his first major title. So he's in a very good spot," the 14-time major champion said.

    America's Zach Johnson's round of 66 was the lowest of the day and lifted him to joint fifth alongside South Africa's Ernie Els (68) on five-under par, while 22-year-old Dane, Thorbjorn Olesen is four-under after a one-over 71.

    Reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson is currently locked in a three-way tie for 10th place with former Open winner's Louis Oosthuizen and Mark Calcavecchia on two-under par.

    World number one Luke Donald is a shot further back after a one-over par 71.

    Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy continued his stuttering form of late, carding a three-over 73 to leave him tied for 64th on five-over par while Scotland's Martin Laird had a day to forget.

    The 29-year-old started the day one-under par, but slumped to a 12-over par 82 leaving him in last place, one shot behind America's John Daly who struggled to a 77.