Henrik Stenson carded a third-round 68 to climb to 12-under-par at Royal Troon on Saturday and take a one-shot lead over Phil Mickelson into the final 18 holes at the Open Championship on Sunday.
The Swede started the day one shot behind Mickelson and was quick out of the blocks with three birdies in his first four holes. He dropped his first shot of the day at the sixth, before dropping another at the eighth to make the turn at one-under-par for his round.
His back nine was flawless as he avoided any dropped shots and picked up his first birdie of the nine at the 14th. Another birdie at the 17th saw him snatch the lead from Mickelson. Stenson parred the 18th for his round of 68, one of only seven players to break 70 at Royal Troon on Saturday.
Mickelson, who started the day at with a one-shot lead at 10-under-par, held his nerve for the first nine holes. Eight pars and a birdie saw ‘Lefty’ make the turn one shot clear of Stenson.
Mickelson picked up two birdies on the homeward stretch but slipped up with dropped shots at the 14th and 17th to relinquish the lead. His par on the 18th saw him sign for a round of 70.
Stenson and Mickelson have a buffer over third-placed Bill Haas, and it is likely The Open champion will come from one of the two unless both collapse on Sunday.