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British Open: Jordan Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy 14/1

British Open: Jordan Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy 14/1

His presence creeping up the leaderboard nearly overshadowed the fact Spieth has positioned himself to become the first player to defend his Open Championship title since Padraig Harrington did it in 2007-08.

Starting the day at even par through the first two rounds of the tournament, Woods made his first birdie of the day at the fourth hole.

"I'm right there. I've got a chance at this, which is great".

The one shot Woods would like to have back was the 13th, where he made a 15-foot putt for par.

From there Woods two-putted from long range for another birdie and when he did the same on the par-five 14th, he was tied for the lead in a major championship for the first time since the second round of the 2013 Masters.

That said, the closest challengers include major winners Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson and Rory McIlroy at -5.

Johnson had an up-and-down round, holing an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole but also shooting three bogeys and a double-bogey on No. 12 to finish at 72 for the round.

Overnight co-leader Zach Johnson gave up a shot early at the British Open when his drive at the fourth found a hazard, but he bounced back by holing what will nearly certainly be the putt of the week at the par-5 sixth hole.

They do not tee off until mid-afternoon Saturday, one shot ahead of Tommy Fleetwood, Pat Perez and Xander Schauffele.

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Scott is tied for 18 at one-under after a second-round 70 that included five birdies and four bogeys, and with Fanny Sunesson on his bag for the first time, the Queenslander is having a solid week.

Of the five players separated by three shots, only Spieth has experience winning a major. The biggest advantage he sees is to "expect the unexpected", and the most windy conditions of the week might make it every bit of that.

The opening hole is 396 yards on the card, with the fairway getting narrow between two bunkers. They were last together three weeks ago when Woods presented him the trophy at the Quicken Loans National after Molinari shot 62 for an eight-shot victory.

"I'm committed to making sure, even if I don't play my best golf and don't shoot the scores I want, I'm going to go down swinging and I'm going to go down giving it my best". He then missed a great chance to hit the front on his own at the 5th, pushing a straightforward six-foot putt to the right of pin. His approach shot was within 12 feet of the hole, but he left his par putt an inch short.

'How about I just send it?'

Kevin Kisner, the 18-hole leader, was among the late starters.

They'll have the edge going into Sunday - they're two strokes clear of the field - but the unpredictable weather (more on that in a moment) won't give anyone any peace.

In mild conditions that allow for low scoring, Chris Wood of England already is 6 under for the day through 11 holes and is at 4-under par, just two shots off the lead.

But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it's little more than a temporary sleight of hand.