Adam Scott of Australia leads the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes by four shots from Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Brandt Snedeker of the USA.

Scott played an accomplished round of 68 featuring three birdies and just one bogey. He looked in complete control of his game as he plotted his way round the course.

“It was a pretty good, solid round today,” he said. “I think 68 pretty accurately reflects the way I played. I certainly made a couple of nice putts. I may have left a few chances out there, but it was all pretty solid stuff.”

The Australian looks to be in command of the tournament but, with high winds forecast for tomorrow, he’s not getting ahead of himself.

“Well, it’s going to be different conditions than we’ve faced for the last three days, that’s for sure,” he said. “I might have to make some adjustments in the style of shots I’ve been hitting.”

Second round leader Snedeker started well enough with four straight pars, but he struggled around the turn posting six bogeys between the 5th and 14th holes. In the end, the American did extremely well to recover with birdies on the 16th and 18th to shoot a three-over-par 73. That leaves him tied for second with Graeme McDowell, four shots off Scott’s lead.

“Those two late birdies salvaged what could have been a horrific round,” he said. “I’ve still got a chance tomorrow.”

McDowell posted the lowest score of the day to join Snedeker in second place. His 67 included five birdies.

“Going out today, 67 or 68 was my target. The conditions were still pretty benign,” he said. “But this course is a sleeping giant. Throw a little wind in and Adam will have to go and work a lot harder to win.”

Tiger Woods recovered well from a slow start and is confident that he’s still in the mix, five off the lead.

“Going into tomorrow I’m right in there,” he said. “Although Adam is in a great spot, he’s got a four shot lead and is playing well.”

141st Open Championship leaderboard through three rounds

1   Adam Scott (Aus)         64   67   68   199
T2   Graeme McDoweel (NIR)   67   69   67   203   
T2   Brandt Snedeker (USA)      66   64   73   203   
4   Tiger Woods (USA)      67   67   70   204   
T5   Zach Johnson (USA)      65   74   66   205
T5   Ernie Els (RSA)         67   70   68   205
7   Thorbjorn Olesen (Den)      69   66   71   206   
T8   Bill Haas (USA)         71   68   68   207
T8   Thomas Aiken (RSA)      68   68   71   207
T10   Bubba Watson (USA)      67   73   68   208

T10   Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)      72   68   68   208   
T10   Mark Calcavecchia (USA)   71   68   69   208

T10   Matt Kuchar (USA)      69   67   72   208

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage