Lee Westwood was joined by Tom Watson and Mathew Goggin at the top of the leaderboard heading into the closing stages of the final round of The Open Championship at Turnberry.
Briefly three behind playing partner Ross Fisher early on, Westwood bounced back with a birdie on the sixth and eagle on the seventh to move two clear of the field.
A bogey on the tenth reduced his lead to one over overnight leader Watson - looking to become the oldest Major champion by 11 years at the age of 59 with his sixth Open title - and Australian Goggin.
Bristol's Chris Wood set the clubhouse target, 12 months after finishing fifth at Birkdale while still an amateur.
Fisher had earlier got off to a flying start, holing from 14 feet for birdie on the first and then chipping in for another on the second.
The 28 year old, who has been adamant all week he would quit at any time to be with his wife Jo if she goes into labour, was briefly three clear of the field before a bogey on the fourth.
But his troubles truly started on the next where he ran up a quadruple bogey eight after driving into heavy rough.
His second shot moved the ball just a few feet and his third was hacked across the fairway into more dense rough.
From there he took a penalty drop and hacked his fifth out onto the fairway, his sixth onto the green and took two putts.
Two more bogeys followed in the next three holes and, after an outward half of 40, Fisher was suddenly struggling to stay inside the top 20.
It was shaping up for a thrilling finish and Goggin and Watson soon made it a three-way tie at the top, Goggin with a birdie on the tenth and Watson rolling in another long putt on the 11th.
Wood did indeed set the clubhouse target, but at one under rather than a potentially decisive two under, hitting his approach to the 18th through the green and failing to get up and down for par.