Scott hangs tough as Aussies flounder at Open
ADAM Scott has hung tough to remain in touch during an action-packed third round of the British Open at Carnoustie.
Scott's three-under-par 68 propelled the former world No.1 onto the leaderboard for the first time, five shots off the lead in a tie for 12th and a fighter's chance of bringing the Claret Jug back to Australia for the first time since Greg Norman won 25 years ago.
Young gun Lucas Herbert is Australia's only other realistic hope heading into Sunday's final round after moving to two under with a brilliant eagle three in his Saturday round of 69.
But Marc Leishman found himself nine strokes off the pace despite also shooting a third-round 69, while Jason Day was 10 back after a disappointing 72.
Scott collected five birdies but it was a clutch par at the devilish last hole that kept him in the hunt.
After driving into the rough, the 2013 Masters champion considered taking on the famous Barry Burn before pulling back, laying up and getting up and down with a magic chip to a metre.
"At first I was going for the green and I was committed to it," Scott said.
"Then I stood over the ball and just remembered guys hitting it in the creek yesterday when I was watching it on tele and thought if I do that, that's my tournament over, probably."
Scott was relieved to have not shot himself out of contention, but knows he will need to go low on championship Sunday to be a factor down the stretch.
"I'm pretty happy," he said.
"I don't think I played really good enough to think I should have had 64, but hopefully I don't lose too much ground on the leaders.
"You just never what might happen tomorrow. If it gets tricky, or even if it doesn't, one good round can go a really long way."
Herbert planned to head straight to the practice round to iron out some swing kinks on the eve of the biggest round of his life.
Despite three birdies and his eagle, the ambitious 22-year-old wasn't satisfied with top-30 standing on debut.
"A bit of a frustrating day," Herbert said.
"I would have liked to have played well and moved up the leaderboard but, at the same time, I was happy because that really could have got a way from me and I could have gone to one or two over.
"But I made that eagle on 14 and played the last four really solid, parred the last four, so it was a good bad round, I guess."
HOW THE AUSSIES ARE FARING AFTER THEIR THIRD ROUNDS OF THE BRITISH OPEN AT CARNOUSTIE:
209: Adam Scott 71-70-67
211: Lucas Herbert 73-69-69
213: Marc Leishman 72-72-69
214: Jason Day 71-71-72
216: Brett Rumford 74-70-72, Cameron Davis 71-72-73 217: Cameron Smith 73-71-73 MISSED CUT
151: Matt Jones 75-76